Fox News | 17Jun2010 | David Rising, Andrea Jarach

Prosecutors open investigation into Demjanjuk witness that defense accuses of perjury

MUNICH (AP) — Munich prosecutors said Thursday they have opened an investigation into a former U.S. Secret Service forensics expert who testified at the John Demjanjuk trial following a motion from the defense accusing the witness of perjury.

Trial prosecutor Hans-Joachim Lutz told The Associated Press that his office was obliged to open the investigation against former agent Larry Stewart, who testified in Munich last week, after defense attorney Ulrich Busch filed a complaint with the court accusing him of perjury.

Busch argued Stewart's Munich testimony contradicted statements he had made in U.S. District Court in Ohio in 2001 -- the year after he examined documents being used as evidence against Demjanjuk.

[W.Z. A summary of the testimony of Larry Stewart in the 2001 Demjanjuk denaturalization trial is archived at

On XoXoL, Stewart's testimony from 30May 2001 is at
pages 154-238.]

Lutz refused to comment on the possibility of charges being filed, saying the evidence first had to be examined.

Stewart rejected the allegation, telling the AP in a phone call from California that his two testimonies did not contradict one another.

"I was asked different questions this time, so I answered the questions I was asked," he said.

Demjanjuk, a retired Ohio autoworker who turned 90 in April, is standing trial on some 28,060 counts of accessory to murder on allegations he was a guard at the Nazi's Sobibor death camp in occupied Poland. He denies ever being at any camp, claiming he is the victim of mistaken identity.

But the prosecution argues, among other things, that a Nazi-era identity card has Demjanjuk's picture on it and indicates he was a guard at Sobibor.

Stewart, who analyzed the identity card and 21 other documents being used in the case in 2000 by the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Special Investigations, told the court last week he found staple holes through the photograph but not through the card itself.

He told the Munich state court that indicates the photograph -- which is now glued to the document -- was once stapled to another piece of paper.

Stewart said, however, that did not necessarily mean it was a forgery, testifying that in his experience photographs often fell off wartime documents as they aged and were then stapled to separate pieces of paper in postwar archives. He said the fact that there was no rust around the staple holes indicated that they were made after the war, when iron staples were no longer used.

But according to the 2001 testimony from Ohio, which Busch provided the court, Stewart said at that time he had not determined that the holes were from a staple, did not know whether there were similar holes in other service passes, and that he had not looked for holes in the identity card itself.

"I was looking at the ink, the paper, and the photograph, and the holes didn't have anything to do with that in my opinion," Stewart said, according to a transcript.

But Stewart said in the telephone interview that in preparation for the Munich case he went over his original findings again, and was also able to examine the original ID card again when he was asked about it in court.

"In this case they had the original card, and they had me come up to the judge and they asked me specific questions about the holes," he said.

Stewart added that he would be happy to return to Munich and answer any additional questions they had.

He testified in Munich over the objections of Demjanjuk's defense team because he had been charged with perjury in 2004 in the United States when he was an expert witness in an unrelated trial. Busch argued that even though he was acquitted by a jury of those charges, it made his testimony suspect.

Stefan Schuenemann, an attorney for a Sobibor survivor who joined the trial as co-plaintiff as allowed under German law, said that if Busch found Stewart's testimony contradictory, he should have questioned him about it in court last week.

"He had the chance to ask him directly here about it, and he didn't," Schuenemann told AP.

Perjury can carry up to 5 years in prison in Germany, depending upon the severity of the case.

A summary of the testimony of Larry Stewart in the 2001 Demjanjuk denaturalization trial is archived at
At the end, I conclude as follows:
[W.Z Summary:
As a result of the testimony of U.S. Secret Service employee, Larry Stewart, my perception of the Trawniki ID card (Demjanjuk #1393) has changed somewhat. During his testimony in the 1987 Jerusalem trial, Gideon Epstein listed at least 7 different colors of writing and markings on the card.[T005792] The purple Russian Cyrillic handwriting was presumably written by Ukr. MGB translator, Z. Bazilevskaya on March 12, 1948. My mental image was that the other handwriting and markings had been added long after that date, when the KGB was preparing to release the Demjanjuk accusations to the West.
Stewart, however, insists that these markings are a characteristic of documents from the Nürnberg Trials era. Thus, it is possible that these markings could have been present before Ms. Bazilevskaya got hold of them or were added shortly thereafter. This is why it is so important to establish a chain of custody (as much as possible) of all the documents associated with the John Demjanjuk case.
If Stewart's scenario is correct, the whole John Demjanjuk trial simply becomes an extension of the infamous Nürnberg War Crimes Trials of the 1940s, where the Victors wreaked vengeance upon the Vanquished, while minimizing their own complicity in war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Once again, as in the case of Epstein, it is impossible to verify Stewart's testimony without access to the documents in question.]

On XoXoL, Stewart's testimony from 30May 2001 is at
pages 154-238.
While re-reading Stewart's testimony from 2001, I was struck by the following items:
(1) Forms were printed on an offset press [as claimed by Lehner years earlier] (p164,line6 and p182, lines3-8)
(2) There is a match of black printing ink in the forms of (GE3) 1393-Demjanjuk [version L1] and (GE45.14) 1337-Kabirow [version L2]. [Did the OSI and Stewart recognize the difference between these two forms? Why did they not check the ink on version S?]
- [The numbering GE45.14 implies that of the 22 documents examined by Stewart at least 14 were Trawniki ID cards. Since Hindrichs officially translated 34 of these cards on 22May2001, one wonders exactly which Trawniki ID cards Stewart examined?]
(3) Stewart claims several times that there is no indication that any of the 22 documents were falsely dated. (p162, line21 and p190,line2) [But there is no date of issue or expiration on any of the Trawniki ID cards.]
(4) Stewart did not examine purple ink of Bazilevskaya. (p208, line2-3) Why not?
(5) At least twice (p188,line10-15; p218,line5-11; p219,line5), Stewart states that in documents from the Nürnberg Trials it was common for the Germans to have United Kingdom and American sources, as well as inks. [Retort: It was also very common for British/American intelligence and subversion personnel to have British/American paper and ink.]
- [To me, it appears that the OSI is very aware that many of the documents produced during the Nürnberg trials were forged and are doing their utmost to protect American and Jewish interests by insisting that the Trawniki ID cards are valid. Why else would the American Secret Service get involved? Is this the same Secret Service that was supposed to protect John F. Kennedy and Lee Oswald from assassination and to prevent unwanted guests from attending Whitehouse dinners?]