Will Zuzak; DEMANUK.021 = Sheftel at DOJ Corruption Hearings; 1995-12-28
Dear Subscribers:
        The verbal testimony of Yoram Sheftel presented in DEMANUK.020 is from
an (editted) videotape released by the EIR. It differs significantly from his
written text in a pamphlet by the Schiller Institute, P.O. Box 20244
(410)247-4200 titled: 

Independent Hearings To Investigate Misconduct by the U.S. Department of Justice
Sheraton Premiere Hotel, Tyson's Corner, Virginia, Aug. 31 - Sept. 1, 1995.

        Apparently, during his verbal testimony, Mr. Sheftel strayed somewhat
from his prepared text and significant portions of his verbal testimony were
omitted from the videotape. 
        We present the full text below:
		                Testimony Yoram Sheftel

James Mann:  As our first presenter, we're delighted to have, is Mr. Yoram
Sheftel, an attorney from Israel, who was highly instrumental in the acquittal
of John Demjanjuk. We're delighted to have him. 

Yoram Sheftel:  My name is Yoram Sheftel, and I've been practising for 19 years
as a criminal lawyer in the state of Israel. I defended about 800 cases. We do
not have jury trials in Israel; but like jury trials, cases are taken to the
floor for evidence. And in 1986, I joined the defense team of John Demjanjuk.
Two years later, when the appeal proceedings started, I was left alone in this
case. For five years, I was conducting the entire appeal proceedings of John
Demjanjuk in the state of Israel, and I was also involved - although not
appearing in court - in all the proceedings which took place in the U.S.A. from
1987 onwards. As a result of this, on July 29, 1993, Demjanjuk was found
unanimously not guilty by the Israeli Supreme Court. And, about two and a half
months later, the U.S. Federal Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit decided
that the extradition of Demjanjuk to the state of Israel was a product of fraud
upon the courts in the U.S.
	I will in my presentation, focus on that case; but specifically, I will
focus on the misconduct of the Office of Special Investigation, a branch of the
Department of Justice in the United States.
	The Demjanjuk affair started as a Soviet plot in the very beginning of
1976, through a Soviet crony named Michael Hanusiak. Hanusiak was an editor of
a Ukrainian communist newspaper published in New York, the Ukrainian Daily
News. The affair began with an attempt to implicate Demjanjuk as a guard in the
notorious death camp of Sobibor. Sobibor was a death camp, where between the
spring of 1942 and autumn of 1943, 600,000 Jews were slaughtered, in front of
the allies, who knew exactly what was happening, and who didn't lift a finger
to save even one Jewish child from the holocaust, which took place in Sobibor.
	The allegations were that Demjanjuk was a guard in that death camp.
This was the Soviet plot in the Demjanjuk affair.
	A few months later, in the state of Israel, an extremely suggestive
photo spread was shown to Israeli holocaust survivors, mainly from Sobibor and
Treblinka. Demjanjuk was wrongly identified as Ivan the Terrible from the death
camp of Treblinka, a death camp where between the July 27, 1942 and August 2,
1943, 870,000 Jews were slaughtered.
	Ten years later, this case of mistaken identity [case] deteriorated, in
the state of Israel, to one of the worst showtrials of the century. Demjanjuk
was tried in a theatre hall, in the one and only ever televised case in the
history of the land. The television was invited by the court and the
prosecution. And, at the end of these proceedings, on April 25, 1988, as
everyone could have anticipated when they began, Demjanjuk was sentenced to
	The Demjanjuk affair became one of the worst cases of coverup in modern
history. This was due to the enormous, unprecedented misconduct of the U.S.
Department of Justice, and, most specifically, its Office of Special
	The lawsuit to revoke Demjanjuk's American citizenship, was brought to
the Cleveland federal court, in September 1977. Although the sole evidence
against Demjanjuk was identification from an extremely suggestive photo spread,
there was no doubt, that the Justice Department genuinely did believe in Sept.
1977 that Demjanjuk was that monster from Treblinka, known as Ivan the
	Less than a year after this indictment was presented to the federal
court in Cleveland, the OSI received, through the American embassy in Moscow, a
telegram, with hundred pages of documents, which had been requested by the OSI,
in connection with another case, a case which the OSI conducted and lost, in
the matter of Fyodor Fedorenko.
	That information that the OSI received, also contained information
about the real identity of Ivan the Terrible. There were four Treblinka guards:
Ivan Shevchenko, Pavel Leleko, Alexander Yegor, and Sergei Vasilienko, who all
stated, that the man known in Treblinka as Ivan the Terrible, the one that
operated the gas chambers in Treblinka, that gassed 870,000 Jews, was one Ivan
	I want to read to you a small part of the statement of Vasilienko in
order to demonstrate how clearly the evidence, which in August 1978 was already
in the hands of the OSI, showed that Demjanjuk could not be, under any
circumstances, Ivan the Terrible.
	"Marchenko Ivan, the operator of the motor of the gas chambers in
Treblinka camp. The Jews in the work crews called him Ivan the Terrible. He was
noted for his cruelty to the people, during the process of their extermination.
He beat them with obvious enjoyment, and whatever came to his hand, however he
	Vasilienko was also presented with a picture, of two Treblinka guards,
and was asked to tell who these two guards were. And looking at this picture,
Vasilienko said that the picture showed guards of the SS forces in the
Treblinka camp. He referred to one, who is holding a pistol in his hand, as
Tkachuk. Next to Tkachuk was the operator of the motor of the gas chamber,
Marchenko Ivan.
	That is to say, on the 12th of August 1978, the OSI is in possession of
a picture of the real Ivan the Terrible; a picture which has no similarity
whatsoever to Demjanjuk.
	Now, in October 1991, due to endless efforts by Congressman James
Traficant, (D-Ohio) the telegram was revealed. But, the names of the people
were taken off. And, only his persistent demand to get the entire telegram,
finally produced this telegram, which is a clearcut proof, that they had the
statements of these four Treblinka guards as early as 1978.
	In December 1991, two months later, another telegram was revealed. This
was a telegram which was sent by the OSI to the Polish Main Commission, a
commission to investigate Nazi crimes in Poland on July 29, 1981.
	They say the following: "OSI also has several statements by Soviet
citizens, witnesses. However, since these statements are not of public record,
because they are hidden, OSI suggests that the Main Commission contact the
Soviet authorities directly for these statements." And here is the list of 15
testimonies; of them 9, we know, are Treblinka guards' testimonies, relating
directly to Ivan Marchenko as Ivan the Terrible.
		One would expect the OSI to review its position in the case,
due to the new material which they now had in their possession, which, of
course, proved beyond any doubt that Demjanjuk couldn't be Ivan the Terrible.
The OSI didn't do it. They also didn't terminate the case. They decided to
continue with it, as if nothing happened; as if this material were not in their
possession. They decided to continue with the case, to revoke Demjanjuk's
American citizenship for being a man which they knew, very well, at this stage,
that he wasn't. They decided to proceed with the case.
	But, this doesn't end the misconduct. Towards the middle of 1979, the
OSI got additional material from the Soviet Union. This time, we are talking
about two statements, one of a Treblinka guard, Nikolai Malagon, and the other
from a Sobibor guard, Ignat Danilchenko. Malagon categorically excluded
Demjanjuk as ever having set foot in Treblinka.  And specifically, he said that
this was not the face of the person known in Treblinka, as Ivan the Terrible,
the operator of the gas chambers. And, he also specifically named Ivan
Marchenko as the real Ivan the Terrible.
	Danilchenko pointed to the same picture all the survivors pointed to,
the picture of Demjanjuk, and said, "This person was with me in the death camp
of Sobibor." It was exactly at the very same time that the Jewish survivors
said he was with them in Treblinka. What the OSI has now in its hands [is] a
clearcut alibi, because the same face is identified to be in a different place,
more than 100 miles away.
	What did the OSI do with this material? It didn't reveal it, not to
Demjanjuk's lawyers, and not to the courts which later tried his case. Only in
1986 was this material turned over to the defense as a result of a court order.
Meanwhile, Demjanjuk had been stripped of his American citizenship, and
extradited to the state of Israel for being Ivan the Terrible. And, this
material was deliberately concealed from his lawyers, and from the courts in
this country.
	Towards the end of 1979, the OSI went to Germany, to interview an SS
sargeant from Treblinka, Otto Horn, one of the most brutal murderers in
Treblinka. We know from internal memos which were revealed to us, years later,
that the OSI attached tremendous importance to the fact that Demjanjuk would be
identified as Ivan the Terrible, not only by Jewish survivors, but by one of
the SS murderers of Treblinka. Therefore, they went to Germany to secure the
identification of Demjanjuk as Ivan the Terrible, by the SS sargeant Otto Horn,
who lived in West Berlin at the time.
	On Nov. 14, 1979, Otto Horn was interviewed by the OSI. It was a
complete failure. The OSI showed him the picture of Demjanjuk and he failed to
identify him as Ivan the Terrible, or even as a guard from Treblinka, or as
someone he knew from the time he served within the SS forces.
	The following day, George Garant [Garand], one of the three OSI people
who took part in this interview (the other two were Norman Moskovitz
[Moscowitz] and Bernard Duarte [Daugherty]), wrote a memo describing exactly
what I just told you.
	When this memo arrived at OSI headquarters in Washington, somebody
within the OSI, we do not know who, decided to dump this report; to not reveal
it to the defense lawyers of Demjanjuk in the United States. In 1981, when Otto
Horn testified in the denaturalization case of Demjanjuk in Cleveland, his
defense lawyer did not have the memorandum from 1979.
	In none of the other proceedings that took place in the United States,
up until 1986, did the defense lawyer of Demjanjuk have this memorandum, which
undermined totally Horn's so-called identification of Demjanjuk as Ivan the
	When Demjanjuk was extradited to the state of Israel, on February 28,
1986, the OSI told the Israeli prosecution that they did not have the original
report of the proceedings that took place with Otto Horn in Nov. 1979. Instead,
they produced three affidavits, from the second half of 1986, 7 years later,
that described what had happened 7 years earlier, when supposedly, Otto Horn
identified Demjanjuk as Ivan the Terrible. So, when Otto Horn testified in the
case of Demjanjuk in Israel, and we're talking about a death penalty case, the
defense lawyers could not properly cross-examine Otto Horn, because we never
had the real memorandum which nullified the entire process of identification.
	In 1989 we received a short memo written by Michael Wolf, then deputy
director of the OSI. I will read it to you:
	"On July 2, 1986, Neil Sher (Neil Sher is then the head of the OSI) and
I spoke to Bernie Duarte [Daugherty] at the American embassy in Beirut,
Lebanon, regarding his recollections of the photo spread procedure with Otto
Horn. Bernie stated that his recollection of the details of the photo spread
procedure as related to Gabby Finden (Gabby Finden is one of the prosecution
team of the state of Israel which prosecuted Demjanjuk in 1987-88) were not
certain. Bernie stated that the details of the facts given to Gabby could
easily be mistaken, but that it was his understanding that Gabby wanted these
details, explaining at the time that he could not be certain about the exact
sequence and the language and the words used in the conversation with Horn.
Bernie added that since the interview had taken place over 6 years ago, and
since he didn't have notes, and since he didn't have notes of the interview, he
could not give definite chronology of all the comments made and actions taken
by Horn in the course of the identification procedure."
	In other words, this Bernie Daurte [Daugherty] produced two affidavits
in a death penalty case, while he knows that he doesn't remember the details,
doesn't know what he's talking about. And we were crossing Otto Horn in a death
penalty case, without having this document in our possession, because it was
deliberately dumped by the OSI, and not given to the defense lawyers of John
	Of the dozens of bureaucrats at the OSI, at this stage, one George
Parker became aware of what was happening, and he wrote a five-page memorandum
explaining that there was no case against Demjanjuk. Now, not only did he write
a memorandum and send it to the head of the OSI at the time, Alan Ryan, but he
asked for a meeting with Alan Ryan, and tried to persuade him to drop the case.
This is October 1980. The proceedings against Demjanjuk in court had not yet
started. Parker was ignored, and the proceedings began in February 1981.
	When George Parker realized that this was going to happen, he decided
to quit the OSI. He felt that he couldn't take part in this frameup, on the one
hand, and coverup on the other hand. He quit the OSI. Now, he revealed all
these facts in an interview he gave to NBC television in November 1991, 11
years later. In this interview, he showed the memorandum he had written 11 and
a half years before. And also, he noted that as early as 1979, internal
documents of the OSI related to Ivan Marchenko and Nikolai Shelaiev as the two
individuals who operated the gas chambers in Treblinka; Ivan Marchenko, known
as Ivan the Terrible. He revealed all this in his interview to NBC in Nov.
	However, my strong position is that George Parker is no better, and in
some aspects even worse, than the bureaucrats of the OSI. He wanted to wash his
hands of the execution of Demjanjuk, but he made this thing possible. Because,
in Feb. 1981, when the proceedings took place, he kept his mouth shut. He knew
exactly, he wrote a whole memorandum telling the reasons why Demjanjuk was not
Ivan the Terrible. But his citizenship was revoked just because he was
allegedly Ivan the Terrible. Parker knew where the evidence was, and he kept
his mouth shut.
	February 28, 1986, Demjanjuk was extradited to the state of Israel,
because the U.S. courts ruled that he was Ivan the Terrible. Parker knew he was
not. Parker knew he was facing a death penalty. He kept his mouth shut. April
25, 1988, Demjanjuk was sentenced to death, for one reason only - for being
Ivan the Terrible, and again George Parker keeps his mouth shut. He only opened
his mouth in November 1991 when everything was revealed by the defense, when we
went, in Sept. 1990, to the Soviet Union and got the documents - 80 of them -
which proved unequivocally that Ivan Marchenko was Ivan the Terrible. He only
opened his mouth when Congressman James Traficant revealed publicly the two
telegrams I was referring to before. So, actually, when he went to television,
he was scared for his own skin, and he wanted to jump on the bandwagon, and to
say, "Look, I have also something to tell about that conspiracy." But where was
he for 11 years? So, being so alert and so aware of what's going on, and
keeping your mouth shut in such dreadful circumstances, in my opinion, doesn't
make George Parker the only righteous man in the sodomy of the OSI. No way.
	In 1982, when the proceedings in the denaturalization case were
completed, and the American lawyer of Demjanjuk, John Martin, asked the OSI to
surrender to him all the evidence in its possession from foreign countries,
specifically the Soviet Union, Poland, West Germany, and the state of Israel,
he got the following response from Bruce Einhorn, the lead prosecutor:
	"All relevant and discoverable documents in the government's possession
have already been made part of the record of these proceedings. As a result of
those documents, and other evidence, your client was denaturalized."
	But, the worst atrocity comes when Demjanjuk was finally extradited to
the state of Israel. A few weeks later, his son-in-law Ed Nishnic filed a
lawsuit based on FOIA, to get the entire file, the entire dossier about
Demjanjuk, which was in the possession of the OSI. And we have a memo, written
to Martin Sachs, one of the trial attorneys of the OSI, by no other than Bruce
Einhorn. And this is what he writes:
	"This will confirm our discussion regarding your request for
information concerning what the effect would be if we were to agree to the
release of our Demjanjuk files pursuant to several pending FOIA requests. I am
familiar with the facts of the Demjanjuk case, because I was the lead attorney
on it. I'm also familiar with the fact that we are currently providing judicial
assistance to the state of Israel in their investigation and prosecution of
Demjanjuk who was extradited there this past February. I can state
unequivocally that we should oppose release of our files for the following
reasons: concern over the integrity of the Israeli prosecution. Release of our
material now would in all probability reveal and could easily undermine and
prejudice, the Israeli prosecution strategy."
	What is this strategy? To execute John Demjanjuk for being Ivan the
Terrible! And he doesn't want to undermine that strategy! To hang someone, who
he knows is not that man that he's going to be hanged for being! That's what
he's saying - black and white in writing.
	Conversely, there is the expected publicity that would naturally be
attached to release of certain and often dramatic material. He knows its
dramatic, because it shows that Demjanjuk is not Ivan the Terrible. And the
drama which would be created because of the release of this material, is no
good. Therefore, it will not be released.
	And here we see, coldbloodedly, coldbloodedly, in a death penalty case,
the OSI, as an organization, decides not to provide the family of the accused
in these proceedings, the exculpatory material which it has in its possession,
that could easily undermine the strategy of his prosecutors. I don't think a
coverup was ever proven by its perpetrators' material so unequivocally, in
writing, black and white, as this coverup of the OSI to execute Demjanjuk for
being what he's not. I don't think ever, in such a blunt way, could you expose
and show a coverup as this document shows us.
	But it is even worse. The OSI is fully aware, that the defense team had
no access whatsoever to the Soviet Union, or to Poland, where this material in
its possession is originated from. So, the OSI is fully aware that if they did
not disclose this material to Demjanjuk, he would never, ever, under any
circumstances be able to get this material, because no one could forsee in
1986, that three and a half years, four years onwards, the Soviet Union would
collapse, and the entire communist regimes in Eastern Europe would collapse, as
happened, and make it possible, to get this material ourselves. But nobody
could have anticipated this in 1986; no one.
	So, by deciding to block this material from the defense, the OSI
actually knew that there would be no way the defense could get to this
	Now, usually, the perpetrators of a coverup, especially such a cynical
one, when the facts start to emerge, would ask forgiveness from the Demjanjuk
family. After all, by that time, Demjanjuk was under a death sentence. We're
talking about 1991, Demjanjuk was sentenced to death. He was not yet cleared.
He had been on death row three years. But, no. The only action of the OSI was
to deny responsibility for this, and the actual perpetration of all these
	Now, there was an enormous amount of publicity when this coverup
exploded. The judges of the Federal Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, read
about all these revelations in the newspapers. And, Judge William Merritt
decided on [his] own initiative, to reopen the original extradition proceedings
of Demjanjuk to the state of Israel. The court appointed a special master,
Judge Thomas Wiseman, to investigate on behalf of the Court of Appeals, whether
the extradition and the denaturalization of Demjanjuk were the product of fraud
upon the U.S. courts.
	Judge Thomas Wiseman had extensive hearings in the second half of 1992
and the first half of 1993, and came out with a devastating report, on June 29,
1993. Based on this report, on November 17, 1993, the Federal Court of Appeals
for the 6th Circuit, issued their decision. I'll read you some of the relevant
	Page 4: "As early as 1978 or 1979, the government had information from
official sources within the Soviet Union, indicating that there were two
Ukrainian operatives of the gas chamber at Treblinka, Ivan and Nikolai. And
that Ivan Grozny, Ivan the Terrible, was a man named Ivan Marchenko, not Ivan
	Page 11: "It seems clear that the American courts, considering
Demjanjuk's fate, should have had those documents that were in the OSI
possession, that pointed to Ivan Marchenko as Ivan the Terrible."
	It continues: "The OSI attorneys acted with reckless disregard for
their duty to the court, and their discovery obligations in failing to disclose
at least three sets of documents in their possession, before the proceedings
against Demjanjuk ever reached trial."
	The court concludes: "Thus, we hold that the OSI attorneys acted with
reckless disregard for the truth, and for the government obligation to take no
steps that prevent an adversary from presenting his case fully and fairly. This
was fraud on the court in the circumstances of this case."
	"And finally, as a result of all this, for the reasons set out herein,
we vacate the judgement of the District court, and the judgement of this court,
in the extradition proceedings on the grounds that the judgements were wrongly
procured, as a result of prosecutorial misconduct that constituted fraud on the
Black and white. The most unequivocal terms possible.
	Now, in this case, not only were we able to prove the coverup, the
cold-blooded conspiracy, but, we also were able to prove the motive and the
reason behind it.
	On August 25, 1978, Congressman Joshua Eilberg, then Chairman of the
House Subcommittee on Immigration, writes a letter to Mr. Griffin Bell, then
Attorney General of the United States:
	"Reports have reached me that the deficiencies have become apparent in
the preparation of the case of the United States vs. Demjanjuk, a
denaturalization proceeding against an alleged Nazi war criminal now living in
Cleveland, Ohio. I wish to express my strong concern over the inadequate
prosecution of the case. A repeat of the recent Fedorenko adverse decision to
the government's case in Florida would nullify and gravely jeopardize the long
and persistent efforts of this subcommittee in ridding the country of this
undesirable element. The creation of the special litigation unit, the OSI,
within the INS, was established to bring expertise and organization to this
process. This unit should be fully entrusted with these cases. I would strongly
argue to place the direction of the proceedings of the Demjanjuk case in the
hands of the Special Litigation Unit. We cannot afford the risk of losing
another decision."
	This is the 25th of August, 1978, 13 days after the OSI gets in its
hands the material that exonerates Demjanjuk. But, because of this letter, and
other political pressures which I will refer to later, they are afraid to come
out and say, "We've got it all wrong; Demjanjuk is not Ivan the Terrible." And,
because of such letter, and political pressures demonstrated by such a letter,
the OSI didn't dare to reveal the real facts about this case, decided to dump
exculpatory material, and not reveal it; not to the courts and not to the
Demjanjuk attorneys, all through the years.
	The Sixth Circuit also addresses this question, on page 24 of the
	"Mr. Parker wrote in his 1980 memorandum that the denaturalization case
could not be dismissed because of factors largely political, and obviously
considerable." Simple as that.
	Other lawyers in the OSI wrote memos discussing this case "as a
political hot potato", that if lost, would raise political problems for
everyone, including the Attorney General. The decision continues:
	"Mr. Ryan, director of the office, wrote to the assistant Attorney
General of the Criminal Division in 1980, that the OSI had secured the support
in Congress, Jewish community organizations, and public at large, for the OSI.
Press coverage has been substantially favorable and support from Jewish
organizations is now secure. But, he went on to say, that this support cannot
be taken for granted, and must be reinforced at every opportunity."
	And then it concludes: "It is obvious from the record, that the Office
of Special Investigation, must try and please and maintain very close
relationship with the various interest groups, because their continued
existence depended upon it."
	So, we have the motive and the reasons. Now Alan Ryan himself confirmed
it. In an interview to an Alabama newspaper, the Huntsville Times, on October
30, 1991, Ryan said, "It [the Demjanjuk case] was one of the first cases we
tried, and we were very much on the line. If we had lost that case, we probably
would have had a very short lifespan."
	In other words, in order to prolong the lifespan of the OSI, they chose
to shorten the lifespan of Demjanjuk!
	Five minutes after Demjanjuk was acquitted, Janet Reno, the Attorney
General of the United States, was asked to comment. We are talking about a man
who spent 7 years, 6 months, and 21 days in prison in Israel for being what
he's not, because of the Justice Department, that Janet Reno heads. Now, she
didn't have one word of criticism about the organization she's in charge of.
The only thing she said is that the Justice Department would do everything in
its power, to prevent the return of Demjanjuk to the United States. Fortunately
enough, her power is not limitless, and four days later, the same Sixth Circuit
again reconvened, and ordered the immediate return of Demjanjuk to the United
	When the same Sixth Circuit said that the Justice Department, through
the OSI, had committed a fraud upon the court, which almost led to the
execution of an innocent person, she again was asked to comment. The only thing
she had to say was, that she would try to appeal the 6th Circuit decision to
the Supreme Court, which she did. The Supreme Court refused to even certify the
case. No investigation, nothing has been done since then by anybody in this
country; no government body, not the U.S. Congress or any other body within the
government of the United States, has moved to investigate, let alone to
actually prosecute. Why not? The activity of those who are responsible for this
terrible travesty, didn't end with the case of Demjanjuk.
	Thank you very much. [applause]

James Mann: Questions?

J.L. Chestnut: You detail a sordid picture of a government, disrespectful of
its own laws, of its courts, for its own purposes. And that is shocking in
itself. But I'm almost desensitized to that. For years, you know, I watched
that government, Griffin Bell, do even worse things to other American citizens
who were not white. This, the fact that the Attorney General of the United
States would take the position that you outlined here, demonstrates a problem
far beyond this case, or even the cases I'm talking about. And what bothers me,
is how does one alert the American people, to the extent of this problem, and
to try to get them interested in trying to address it?
	Let me ask you this. The request the defense lawyers made for
information, for records, was that request made directly to the Dept. of
Justice, or was it done through the Israeli court?

Mr. Sheftel: Directly to the Justice Department by attorney John Martin in
1982, to the Office of Special Investigation, to the head of the Office of
Special Investigation at the time, Alan Ryan. I read you the response. There
was another attempt in 1986, through the federal court in Washington, by the
son-in-law of Demjanjuk, again directly to the OSI and I read you the response.
This had nothing to do with the state of Israel. It's entirely, purely an
American case of travesty of justice. In Israel, it was a political show trial;
no question, whatsoever. But, it was not a deliberate coverup. Here, the same
case was a deliberate, cold-blooded coverup.

J.L. Chestnut: Do you think the state of public opinion in Israel, and in this
country, was such that, had there been a revelation that this was the wrong
man... nevertheless the OSI would have been in trouble?

Mr. Sheftel: If, in 1986, the material which we obtained five years later, if
this material had been revealed in 1986, I have no doubt whatsoever that
Demjanjuk not only woudn't be sentenced to death, he wouldn't even have been
tried in the State of Israel. No way whatsoever. In the end, when this specific
material came to the surface, not through the OSI, but through the defense
efforts in Eastern Europe, it led to his acquittal. And it would have happened
the same in '86, if this material had been revealed 5 years earlier. If John
Martin, the defense lawyer of Demjanjuk had gotten the material in 1982,
Demjanjuk would have gotten his citizenship back, and there would never have
been extradition proceedings against him.

J.L. Chestnut: What I'm suggesting to you, is that there may be something even
more sinister than you realize.
	As a black man, I understand that Griffin Bell understood, that by
coming forward and telling the truth, he would not have really threatened his
department, or some little bureaucracy down within that department. I'm telling
you, that there is something insidious in that organization. That's why they
didn't come forward.
	I had a case, death penalty case: black man charged with having
murdered a young white girl in a little town called Monroeville, Alabama. About
as racist as you can get, even in 1995.
	The man was nowhere near the scene of the crime. The prosecutors knew
that; but tensions were such, that they had to have -

Mr. Sheftel: Someone.

J.L.Chestnut: That's right. They put this man on death row and kept him there
seven years. Now, he just got out about two years ago. He's now writing a book. 
	That's why I suggest to you, from experience, that there's another
coverup there. And the coverup is the motive of these people who run these
departments. It's not so much that they were afraid of what the public reaction
would be; they're just evil people.

Mr. Sheftel: I agree. You must be a sinister person, whatever your motives are,
whatever your reasons are, to dump such exculpatory material which is in your
possession in such a cold-blooded way. And, whatever the motive, it never can
be an excuse.

J.L. Chestnut: Let me make one other observation and I'll be through, Mr.
Chairman. The same Attorney General, Janet Reno, in commenting on the death of
I don't know how many people in Waco, Texas, made a statement that is
startingly similar to the one she made in the Demjanjuk affair.

Mr. Sheftel: It's the same person.

J.L. Chestnut: Same person, same statement, almost like a broken record. Now,
that's what's frightening. And, I suppose she is about as secure, as anybody in
the Clinton administration can be. Of course, the Justice Department, now, is
investigating the President, himself!

Mr. Awoonor: What role, if any, did the Israeli government play in this
sinister affair? It wasn't very clear to me, whether they were in receipt of
this documented material as to a plot, a conspiracy, to railroad this man.

Mr. Sheftel: My nature is to come out with accusations, especially serious
accusations, only when I can prove, really beyond a shadow of a doubt, what I'm
	I discussed the possibility, that the Israeli Prosecution Service also
knew, as of 1986, not as of 1978, but as of 1986, that Demjanjuk was not Ivan
the Terrible, and yet chose to proceed with the case.
	There are certain indications that this was the case, because the OSI
said that it would not reveal the material, in order not to undermine the
Israeli prosecution, which they  were assisting.
	Now, it's very difficult to assume that you are assisted by someone,
and you don't know how you are assisted. You don't know how they assist you?
You're collaborating, you're working together with someone on a certain case,
and you don't know what he knows about the same case?
	But this is very circumstantial. We do not have any direct evidence to
suggest, that the Israeli prosecution knew, as the OSI did, from clearcut
documents, that Demjanjuk was not Ivan the Terrible. However, there is no
question, that Demjanjuk was the victim of political show trial, in the state
of Israel; a show trial in which he never had any chance except a death
	And the only reason he was not executed, for reasons that nobody,
including myself, could have anticipated, was that in the end the defense
possessed such strong evidence that proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that
someone else was Ivan the Terrible. No court of law, which tried the case in
the open, can convict in these circumstances. The only thing that prevented his
execution in the state of Israel, was the knowledge of the court, that, if it
had rejected the appeal, it would have caused one of the worst scandals about a
legal case in the twentieth century. Only because of this situation, was he
acquitted. Normal proceedings led to his death sentence based on nothing; based
on the most suggestive photo spread, as the sole evidence against him, and
this, because it was a politically motivated show trial. But, not a coverup.

Msgr. El Hayek: Why would the United States government fall into the trap of
the Soviet Union, in a plot like this?

Mr. Sheftel: Actually, they didn't. They got information from the Soviet Union
that Demjanjuk was allegedly a death-camp guard from Sobibor. But, the U.S.
sent this picture to the state of Israel, where he was identified as Ivan the
Terrible, from Treblinka. So the case of Demjanjuk was not according to a
Soviet plan, and the Soviets. And, I must say, that in this case, the case of
Demjanjuk, the KGB was much fairer than the Justice Department.
	The KGB knew all along, that Demjanjuk could not be Ivan the Terrible,
because they had a full file about the real Ivan the Terrible, and they were
scared that one day, this file would be revealed, especially since part of it
had already been revealed to the OSI. So they didn't dare, even once, during
the last 16-17 years, to suggest that Demjanjuk was Ivan the Terrible.
	When the OSI got material that showed, unequivocally, that Demjanjuk
was not Ivan the Terrible, they didn't stop saying that he was. They dared to
do what the Soviets didn't. Therefore, in this particular case, the Justice
Department is much worse of a villain, than the KGB.

James Mann: Mr. Sheftel, the panel gratefully appreciates the articulate and
knowledgeable manner in which you've made this presentation. We thank you very

Mr. Sheftel: Thank you very much.
Will Zuzak; DEMANUK.021 = Sheftel at DOJ Corruption Hearings; 1995-12-28