Manchester Guardian | 05Dec2009 | Corrections editor

Corrections and clarifications

• The Guardian issued this statement yesterday: "We published a letter by John Mortl in the Guardian of 03 December 2009 [page 37, and] relating to the case of John Demjanjuk, who is accused of assisting in the murder of 27,900 people in Poland. Unfortunately, we misread the letter. The underlying meaning, we now realise, implied Holocaust denial. As soon as we realised our mistake, we removed the letter from the website. It should never have been published and we apologise unreservedly that it was."

Manchester Guardian | 03Dec2009 | John Mortl

What kind of justice is it that proscribes the normally accepted right of the accused to challenge the assumption that a crime had, in fact, occurred? Normally the prosecution is obliged to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the crime of murder had taken place. This is not the case in the trial of Demjanjuk. The court will, without proof, arbitrarily accept that the crime took place. Being stripped of his most powerful defence, the accused is reduced to pleading mistaken identity or that he had nothing to do with an unproved murder.

John Mortl

[W.Z. Need one comment on the servility of the mass media?]