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"Ivan the Terrible": German Nazi hunters want extradition from USA for an US citizen

 
 
Reply Mon 10 Nov, 2008 06:12 am
Quote:
For 30 years, former U.S. autoworker John Demjanjuk has fought charges that he is "Ivan the Terrible," a sadistic Nazi concentration camp guard who helped run the gas chambers at Treblinka, a death camp in occupied Poland where more than three-quarters of a million people died during World War II.

After emigrating to the U.S. in the 1950s, Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk worked at a Ford plant in Ohio and gained U.S. citizenship. By the 1970s, however, Holocaust survivors identified him as the feared Treblinka guard, and he was extradited to Israel, where in 1988 he was convicted of war crimes. The death sentence was overturned in 1993 after judges ruled there was reasonable doubt in the case.

Demjanjuk, now 88, retired and living in Ohio, has over the years seen his U.S. citizenship revoked and restored. German prosecutors now say they are seeking his extradition to Germany on charges he took part in killings at the Sobibor death camp, also in Poland.

Source: Chicago Tribune, October 15, 2008


Quote:
Mon, 10 Nov 2008
dpa

Ludwigsburg, Germany - Investigators hope to put alleged Nazi war criminal Ivan John Demjanjuk on trial as officials of the German central office for solving Nazi crimes Monday handed over the results of their preliminary investigation to prosecutors. The head of the office, Kurt Schrimm, said he hopes prosecutors in Munich will seek extradition of 88-year-old Demjanjuk from the United States, where he emigrated in the 1950s and worked in the car industry.

Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk is accused of having having participated in the murder of at least 29,000 European Jews at the death camps in Sobibor and Treblinka, Poland, during World War II.

US authorities extradited him to Israel in 1986 after his alleged role in the Holocaust became known in the 1970s. He was accused of crimes committed at the Treblinka death camp, where he got the nickname Ivan the Terrible for his alleged crimes.

Demjanjuk was found guilty and sentenced to death in 1988, but the Israeli Supreme Court overturned the verdict in 1990, saying that it could not be proven that he really was Ivan the Terrible.

The German Nazi hunters are now convinced that their investigation has brought new evidence about his activities in Sobibor.

The investigation office, which has faced much criticism lately for not delivering results, celebrates its 50th anniversary on December 1.

Source: German Press Agency via Earthtimes

Link: Wikipedia entry for the Central Office for ...

Additional report: Chicago Tribune: As Nazis age, leads still alive
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Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Nov, 2008 07:27 am
I guess the double jeopardy consideration wouldn't apply here as it's two separate jurisdictions.
patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Nov, 2008 07:32 am
@Walter Hinteler,
The cynic in me (I call him "me") wonders if they really have good new evidence, or if they are, in the proud tradition of publicly-funded agencies faced with ireelevance, looking for a big score to justify they're continuing survival.

It's been over 60 years, after all. I'd hope whatever they've come up with is very, very sound and damning evidence. Otherwise, let the old guy, whoever he is and whatever he's done, totter on toward death.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Nov, 2008 08:48 am
@patiodog,
patiodog wrote:

The cynic in me (I call him "me") wonders if they really have good new evidence, or if they are, in the proud tradition of publicly-funded agencies faced with ireelevance, looking for a big score to justify they're continuing survival.


When you look at the history of the Central Office of the State Justice Administration for the Investigation of National Socialist Crimes. patiodog, you'll notice that they investigated against 106,496 persons, but only 6,495 Nazi criminals were finally prosecuted and convicted by the courts.

It's a bit different in Germany then in the USA: prosecutors and judges (the main staff of that agency) are civil servants: if the agency doesn't survive, they just return to the juridical system of their state from where they were sent (same with other civil servants and employees there).
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Nov, 2008 08:53 am
@patiodog,
patiodog wrote:
It's been over 60 years, after all. I'd hope whatever they've come up with is very, very sound and damning evidence. Otherwise, let the old guy, whoever he is and whatever he's done, totter on toward death.


It really seems to be clear for the prosecution (and indeed: they seem to have enough evidence for it) that he was engaged in the one or other way with the murder of 29,000 Jews, mainly children, women and old aged persons.

There is no period of limitation on genocide (§ 220a) and murder (§ 211) under the German Criminal Code.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Nov, 2008 09:14 am
@Merry Andrew,
Merry Andrew wrote:

I guess the double jeopardy consideration wouldn't apply here as it's two separate jurisdictions.


Missed that, Andrew.

Certainly ne bis in idem is part of our Criminal Law (like in any other Roman law system) as well.

The European Convention of Human Rights (all countries of Europe have signed that) says:
Quote:
No one shall be liable to be tried or punished again in criminal proceedings under the jurisdiction of the same State for an offence for which he has already been finally acquitted or convicted in accordance with the law and penal procedure of that State.


Quote:
This specific optional protocol has been ratified by all EU states except five (namely Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom).[2] Those members states may still have the provision in their respective constitutions providing a prohibition against double jeopardy.

In many European countries the prosecution may appeal an acquittal to a higher court (similar to the provisions of Canadian law) - this is not counted as double jeopardy but as a continuation of the same trial. This is allowed by the European Convention of Human Rights - note the word finally in the above quote.
Source: Wikipedia

According to our Constitution, the Criminal Code and especially the Law of Criminal Procedure this is not a double jeopardy/ne bis in idem case.
0 Replies
 
patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Nov, 2008 06:58 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
I was responding mainly in light of this line...

Quote:
The investigation office, which has faced much criticism lately for not delivering results, celebrates its 50th anniversary on December 1.


...from the German Press Agency/earthtimes link. I'd imagine that this office isn't quite as busy as it used to be.

And I still do hope that what they've got is rock-solid, beyond a shadow of a doubt proof, 60 years down the road.

My brother-in-law is the son of an Jewish American serviceman and a German woman. He was in the U.S. navy and lived in Germany for a little while. At the time (in the 1980s) he wore a star of David around his neck, and has described a few interesting encounters with old burly guys of the WWII generation -- encounters that made him wonder what sort of role they might have played in the Holocaust. I'm curious where the line is drawn in terms of who is worthy of prosecution and who was just "following orders," as the saying goes. (Not that this guy's alleged crimes would be likely to fall on the nonprosecutable side of the line, just a-wonderin'...)
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Nov, 2008 12:49 am
@patiodog,
patiodog wrote:
I'm curious where the line is drawn in terms of who is worthy of prosecution and who was just "following orders," as the saying goes. (Not that this guy's alleged crimes would be likely to fall on the nonprosecutable side of the line, just a-wonderin'...)


Generally at firts by the prosecution (or that agnecy/investigation office from Ludwigsburg before).

And then by the courts.

And especially the latter ... well, sometimes I've (I'd) got the idea that all what those criminals did was a kind of "peccadillo", all had someone who gave orders and they had to follow them .. ...


Sad. More than sad.
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