Nazi suspect Demjanjuk's trial suspended

By Jessica Elgot, December 2, 2009
Follow Jessica on Twitter

The trial of suspected Nazi John Demjanjuk has been delayed due to his failing health.

The 89-year-old Ukrainian is charged of being an accessory to the murder of 27,900 Jews at the Sobibor death camp.

Presiding Judge Ralph Alt said in a court statement that Demjanjuk had a high fever which had continued to rise despite medication, and that the trial would be delayed until December 21.

Doctors who examined him, two hours before the court hearing in Munich was about to continue, said he had an unidentified infection and a fever.

Demjanjuk’s lawyers have repeatedly called for the trial to be abandoned because of their client’s ill health. He is believed to have a serious bone marrow disease.

Because of his ill health, the trial is limited to just two 90 minute sessions a day, and Mr Demjanjuk has spent much of the time so far under a blanket on a hospital stretcher. The trial is expected to last until May.

Efraim Zuroff, director of the Jerusalem office of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, expressed his frustration with the delay.

“He should have gone to Hollywood, not Sobibor,” he said.

Last updated: 5:35pm, December 2 2009