Kyiv Post | 14Jan2011 | Associated Press

Update: Spain wants to put Demjanjuk on trial

MADRID (AP) -- A Spanish judge has indicted John Demjanjuk on charges of being an accessory to genocide and crimes against humanity while serving as a Nazi concentration camp guard.

The 90-year-old former Ohio autoworker is already being tried in Germany on 28,060 counts of being an accessory to murder while serving as a guard at the Nazis' Sobibor death camp.

Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk denies ever serving as a Nazi guard at any camp and maintains that he was a Soviet soldier captured by the Germans and spent most of the war in prison camps himself, and is being mistaken for someone else.

Already, the former Ohio auto-worker was stripped of his U.S. citizenship in 1981 after the U.S. Justice Department alleged he hid his past as the notorious Treblinka guard "Ivan the Terrible." He was extradited to Israel, where he was found guilty and sentenced to death in 1988, only to have the conviction overturned five years later as a case of mistaken identity.

Spanish Judge Ismael Moreno has now accused Demjanjuk of working at the Nazi concentration camp in Flossenbuerg in Bavaria in southern Germany, where Moreno says 155 Spaniards were held, 60 of whom died. Moreno indicted Demjanjuk in an order dated Jan. 7, 2011 and made available Friday [14Jan2011] by the National Court.

The judge issued a European arrest warrant for Germany to hand over Demjanjuk, presumably after his trial in Germany ends.

The Bavarian justice ministry said it had not yet received any word of the indictment or the European arrest warrant from Spain.

Moreno is acting under Spain's so-called universal justice law, which allows particularly heinous crimes to be tried in Spain even if they are alleged to have been commmitted abroad.

But Moreno also acted because thousands of Spaniards were among the millions who died in Nazi camps. Moreno has been investigating the issue since July 2008 at the request of several Spaniards who survived their ordeals.

Demjanjuk's son, John Demjanjuk Jr., told the AP in an e-mail that his father had never served in any Nazi camp and suggested that Moreno was grasping at straws.

"He has progressed from acquittal by Israel of killing 850,000 to supposedly being a POW coerced to guard at a place where 27,000 were killed and now some group in Spain alleges he was a guard over 155 forced laborers," he said. "He was a Ukrainian POW who survived the Nazi's murderous onslaught and this is just another flash in the media pan," the son said.

Demjanjuk was one of four alleged ex-Nazi camp guards named in an initial complaint that the National Court took up at the request of a handful of Holocaust survivors from Spain.

When the other three were indicted by Spain in September 2009, he was left out because at that point the United States had already handed him over to Germany for trial.

Moreno can act against Demjanjuk without risk of double-jeopardy because the German trial focuses on his alleged presence as a guard at Sobibor and the Spanish proceedings involve his alleged later presence at Flossenbuerg, according to Equipo Nizkor, the human rights group that filed the initial complaint in Madrid.

There is no known evidence accusing Demjanjuk of a specific crime, and he was indicted in Germany on the argument that anyone who had served in a death camp like Sobibor -- whose sole purpose was killing -- could be considered an accessory to murder. Flossenbuerg, however, was a concentration camp where many prisoners were used for forced labor, though thousands were killed or died amid deplorable conditions.

"This is a remarkable and extraordinary development that poignantly shows that the victims of the crimes that Demjanjuk is charged with came from all of Europe and truly were crimes against all of humanity," Elan Steinberg, vice-president of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants, said in a statement welcoming the Spanish action.

[W.Z. Whether it is the John Demjanjuk case or the struggle for Ukraine's independence by OUN-UPA, the Ukrainophobes at Associated Press and Reuters consistently bias their reporting to present the reader with a distorted picture of the realities of the issues.]

[W.Z. We have earlier archived four articles on the interest of Spain's Ismael Moreno in promoting the Holocaust Industry:
Spain issues arrest warrants for three alleged ex-Nazi guards  Deutsche Welle, 17Sep2009; S. Houlton
Spain to seek extradition of Nazi war criminals from US, 17Jul2008; IANS
Lawyers ask Spanish court to charge 4 alleged ex-guards at Nazi camps, 25Jun2008; Associated Press
Civil rights group wants John Demjanjuk extradited to Spain for war crimes Cleveland Plain Dealer, 24Jun2008; J. Caniglia ]

Kyiv Post | 14Jan2011 | Reuters

Spain court requests Demjanjuk arrest, extradition

MADRID, Jan 14, 2011 (Reuters) -- Spain's high court requested an international arrest warrant for John Demjanjuk, an accused Nazi war criminal on trial in Germany, according to a ruling made public on Friday.

The high court wants to bring Demjanjuk, 90, to trial in Spain on accusations he was responsible for the deaths of Spaniards held in the Flossenburg concentration camp where he was a guard during World War Two.

The high court issued the ruling on Jan. 7, 2011, but it was not made public until Friday [14Jan2011].

Demjanjuk was born in Ukraine and fought in the Red Army before the Nazis captured him and recruited him as a camp guard [W.Z. Mr. Demjanjuk was never a camp guard for the Germans]. He emigrated to the United States in 1951 and became a naturalised citizen in 1958. Demjanjuk, who was top of the Simon Wiesenthal Center's list of most wanted war criminals, is accused in Germany of assisting in killings at the Sobibor concentration camp. The high court wants Demjanjuk to be extradited to Spain after his trial in Germany. The ruling said that 150 Spaniards were imprisoned in the Flossenburg camp.