John Demjanjuk challenges German arrest warrant alleging he was a Nazi death camp guard

Demjanjuk challenges German arrest warrant

MUNICH — John Demjanjuk’s lawyer filed a challenge Tuesday to the German arrest warrant that led to the 89-year-old’s deportation, arguing that the evidence against him was not solid and Germany’s jurisdiction was questionable.

Guenther Maull filed the challenge, a standard step in the German legal system, after the retired Ohio autoworker was formally placed into investigative custody in Germany.

Demjanjuk arrived Tuesday in Munich after being deported from the United States to face allegations of being an accessory to the murder of 29,000 Jews and others as a Nazi guard at the Sobibor death camp.

Under the German legal system, suspects are placed in investigative custody pending the formal pressing of charges.

A judge read Demjanjuk the 21-page arrest warrant outlining the charges Tuesday. If Demjanjuk is found fit to stand trial, it would be the culmination of a legal saga that began in 1977 and has involved courts and government officials from at least five countries on three continents.

Maull said the warrant was read to Demjanjuk as he was sitting in a wheelchair and getting oxygen through a nasal tube.

“He understood what was being read to him,” Maull said.

Maull said it may turn out that, for example, Demjanjuk can only be tried for a half-hour each day.

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