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Ukraine

Demjanjuk Denied Posthumous U.S. Citizenship

John Demjanjuk in May 2011John Demjanjuk in May 2011
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John Demjanjuk in May 2011
John Demjanjuk in May 2011
A U.S. appeals court has denied a request to posthumously restore U.S. citizenship to a Ukrainian-born man who was convicted of Nazi war crimes.

The court ruled that John Demjanjuk's death in March rendered the request moot, while his defense attorneys claimed the U.S. government withheld potentially helpful material in his case and that restoring his citizenship would aid an investigation.

Demjanjuk lived for decades in the United States before he was convicted by a German court in May 2011 on 28,060 counts of being an accessory to murder at the Sobibor death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.

He died while his conviction was under appeal.

Based on reporting by AP and "The Plain Dealer"
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by: Bob Sergeant from: US Outlying Minor Islands
July 01, 2012 13:58
German law is different from US law. The Demjanjuk "conviction" was invalidated upon Demjanjuk's death because, under German law, the presumption of innocence is maintained until all appeals have been tried. Demjanjuk died before his appeal coudt be tried by the German Appelate Court. A few days after his death, he the German court confirmed that Demjanuk died "presumed innocent" and that his previous interim conviction was rendered null and void, and furthermore, that Demjanjuk died without a criminal record. This was reported in HAARETZ Israeli News on March 23, 3012.

It is therefore incorrect and unethical to refer to Demjanjuk as either "convicetd" or a "war criminal."

by: Bob Sergeant from: US Minor Outlying Islands
July 03, 2012 22:04
A very big difference between American and German criminal trials is that a German criminal trial is extremely informal. There is no written transcript. Evidentiary rules are minimal. Hearsay is admissible. History of past convictions is also admissible. There is no jury. Trials of any significance are decided by a body that consists of three judges and two lay deliberators.

The relatively extreme informality of German lower court trials, such as the Demjanjuk trial, is basically why a conviction in Germany is invalidated if the defendant dies before his appeal is heard. The presumption of innocence is a paramount principle of law. The German Appelate Court granted Demjanjuk an appeal trial which meant there was legal doubt, and a criminal conviction requires proving guilt "beyond a doubt."

Most of the American media presumes incorrectly that the prior interim conviction is still valid, as it might be in the USA; but in accordance with German law, the German Court rightly declared the late John Demjanuk's prior conviction by the lower court was not upheld, and invalid, because his appeal had not yet been heard by the German Appelate Court.

Thus after 35 years of legal wrangling, John Demjanjuk died legally innocent, without a criminal record, and without a criminal conviction in either the USA, Israel, or Germany.

by: Bob Sergeant
July 24, 2012 21:02
The German court declared the late John Demjanjuk innocent and his 2011 conviction has been invalidated.

See Haaretz, March 23, 3012: Demjanjuk deemed innocent...
haaretz.com/print-edition/news /convicted-nazi-criminal-demja njuk-deemed-innocent-in-german y-over-technicality-1.420280

See Kyiv Post, July 15, 2012, "The Demjanjuk odyssey as viewed in the rear-view mirror"
kyivpost.com/opinion/op-ed/the -demjanjuk-odyssey-as-viewed-i n-the-rear-view-m.html#.UAXNiq 6_d5Y

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