Munich: John Demjanjuk must appear in
court to face charges that he was a guard at the Sobibor death
camp, a German judge ordered today despite the 90-year-old`s
The former Ohio autoworker was informed that he was
being ordered to attend the trial, presiding judge Ralph Alt
said. This is the second time the judge has ordered Demjanjuk
to attend since the trial at the Munich state court opened
Defense attorney Ulrich Busch protested the
decision, saying his client was not fit to follow along and
could barely hear what was being said in court.
Court doctor Albert Stein said Demjanjuk complained
about having a very strong headache, but answered his
questions "clearly and energetically."
Stein said, however, that Demjanjuk was suffering
from low hemoglobin and would be brought to a Munich hospital
later today for a blood transfusion.
Demjanjuk followed the session lying in blue
pajamas on a hospital bed, as usual, wearing sunglasses and
showing no reaction to the proceedings.
Demjanjuk, who was deported from the US to Germany
in May 2009, suffers several medical problems, but was
declared fit enough to stand trial. About a dozen sessions
have been canceled, however, due to health issues.
He is being tried on 28,060 counts of accessory to
murder - charges that he denies. The defense maintains
Demjanjuk was a Soviet soldier captured by the Germans and
spent most of the war in prison camps himself.
The Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk had his US citizenship
revoked in 1981 after the US Justice Department alleged he hid
his past as the notorious Treblinka guard "Ivan the Terrible."
He was extradited to Israel, where he was found guilty and
sentenced to death in 1988, only to have the conviction
overturned five years later as a case of mistaken identity.