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CRIME

Demjanjuk’s SS identity card was forged, his lawyer says

The lawyer of alleged Nazi camp guard John Demjanjuk called Wednesday for his German trial to be scrapped after new FBI documents emerged calling into question a vital piece of evidence.

Demjanjuk's SS identity card was forged, his lawyer says
Photo: DPA

Ulrich Busch said the Federal Bureau of Investigation had said in a 1985 report that an SS identity card alleged to be Demjanjuk’s was “quite likely fabricated” by the Soviet Union.

“We have always maintained that the ID card was a forgery. Now we have a report from the FBI,” Busch said.

He said he was in possession of the report and had applied to the court in Munich, southern Germany, to suspend the 91-year-old’s trial to travel to the United States to look in the archives for more information.

However, he was pessimistic as to his chances of getting the court to agree to his request.

“The court has long since made up its mind,” he said.

The identity card is vital to the prosecution’s case as there are no living witnesses able to prove the charge that Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk was a guard at the Sobibor death camp in 1943.

Demjanjuk is charged with helping to murder 27,900 Jews and others during his alleged six-month stint at the camp where the Nazi death machine killed around a quarter of a million people.

Prosecutors have called for him to spend six years behind bars for his alleged actions in what is quite likely to be the last major trial dealing with the crimes committed in World War II.

A verdict could come as soon as May 12, although this has repeatedly been delayed due mainly to the defendant’s health.

AFP/ka

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CRIME

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

A 50-year-old German man was jailed for life Tuesday for shooting dead a petrol station cashier because he was angry about being told to wear a mask while buying beer.

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

The September 2021 murder in the western town of Idar-Oberstein shocked Germany, which saw a vocal anti-mask and anti-vaccine movement emerge in response to the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

The row started when 20-year-old student worker Alex W. asked the man to put on a mask inside the shop, as required in all German stores at the time.

After a brief argument, the man left.

The perpetrator – identified only as Mario N. – returned about an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask. But as he bought his six-pack of beer to the till, he took off his mask and another argument ensued.

He then pulled out a revolver and shot the cashier in the head point-blank.

On Tuesday, the district court in Bad-Kreuznach convicted Mario N. of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, and handed him a life sentence.

READ ALSO: Shock in Germany after cashier shot dead in Covid mask row

Under German law, people given a life sentence can usually seek parole after 15 years. His defence team had sought a sentence of manslaughter, rather than murder.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Nicole Frohn told how Mario N. had felt increasingly angry about the measures imposed to curb the pandemic, seeing them as an infringement on his rights.

“Since he knew he couldn’t reach the politicians responsible, he decided to kill him (Alex W.),” she said.

Mario N. turned himself in to police the day after the shooting.

German has relaxed most of its coronavirus rules, although masks are still required in some settings, such as public transport.

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