Defense demands damages as Demjanjuk trial concludes

By REUTERS
May 3, 2011 15:41

 
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MUNICH, Germany - John Demjanjuk's defense attorney demanded the 91-year-old accused of helping kill 27,900 Jews in the Holocaust be awarded damages for false imprisonment when final arguments in the high-profile trial began on Tuesday.

Prosecutors are seeking a 6-year jail term for Demjanjuk in what is possibly the country's final Nazi war crimes trial, which began in the southern German city of Munich 18 months ago.

"Prosecutors and plaintiffs have not put forward a single piece of evidence that show the guilt of my client," defense attorney Ulrich Busch told reporters outside the courtroom.

Busch said his demands were: "Acquittal for the defendant, release from prison and damages for false imprisonment. If not, then there will be an appeal."

The defense is expected to conclude its final arguments either later this week or early next week. The Munich court said it has not yet set a date when it will hand down its verdict. Ukraine-born Demjanjuk has denied any role in the Holocaust, telling the court that he was drafted into the Soviet army in 1941 and later became a German prisoner of war who was recruited as a prison camp guard.

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