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Press Release | 13Aug2012 | Demjanjuk supporters



For immediate release:

On August 13, 2012, attorneys representing Vera Demjanjuk, John Demjanjuk’s widow, filed a petition with the US Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, for rehearing en blanc of a previous appeal to have John Demjanjuk’s American citizenship reinstated.

The media has reported on this event with incorrect references to John Demjanjuk as a “convicted Nazi war criminal” and with descriptions like “recently deceased Ohio autoworker convicted of Nazi war crimes.”  They cite a May 2011 lower German criminal court finding, which in an attempt to set a new legal precedent, held that Demjanjuk was an accessory to mass murders at Sobibor. That controversial trial and conviction received worldwide news coverage.

In fact, later that year, in March 2012 a few days after Demjanjuk’s death, a German court official announced that since Demjanjuk's appeal had not been heard before he died, he was considered innocent by operation of German law. That was because German law, which is unlike the law in America and other common law states, considers an accused innocent in criminal proceedings until all his appeal rights have been exhausted. This court official’s proclamation of Demjanjuk’s innocence received scant press coverage. Haaretz Israeli News, however, reported on the invalidation of the conviction in a March 23, 2012 article entitled, “Convicted Nazi criminal Demjanjuk deemed innocent in Germany over technicality.”

We take the view that no matter where a person is tried, the presumption of innocence is never a mere technicality. It is the thread that protects us all from unjust prosecution. Given that Demjanjuk died with his innocence in tact, it is highly unethical for the press to state or insinuate that Demjanjuk had any role in Nazi Germany's crimes. As we have established, that was never proven according to law.

We repeat. John Demjanjuk, despite the fact that over the last 30 years the US Department of Justice did everything it could to convict him, including committing a fraud on the US court system, and despite its internationally orchestrated effort to “bring him to justice”, was found innocent of any crimes, either in Israel, Germany or the USA. Failure to report this fact only further discredits the American system of justice and undermines the legacy of rightful prosecutions of real Nazi war criminals in the past.

Vera Demjanjuk's mission now is to restore John Demjanjuk’s reputation and American citizenship. Publishing this news release would greatly assist her in this task.


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