Attorney for Demjanjuk seeks his release, health status disputedWritten by Associated Press | | firstname.lastname@example.org
A German doctor testified Nov. 25 that John Demjanjuk is receiving better care in a Munich prison hospital than in the U.S. and that his health has “not significantly changed” since his trial began as reported from The Associated Press in Munich.
Demjanjuk, 90, suffers from low hemoglobin and a variety of other health issues, and has had at least 9 blood transfusions since his trial began last November.
The retired Ohio auto worker is standing trial on 28,060 counts of accessory to murder for allegedly having been a guard at the Sobibor death camp in Poland. Demjanjuk denies ever being a camp guard, saying he has been mistaken for someone else.
Demjanjuk attends court sessions lying in a hospital bed, usually wearing dark sunglasses. In recent weeks, his defense team has argued that his health has deteriorated to the point that he is in so much pain he is unable to follow the proceedings.
But Dr. Christoph Nerl, a blood specialist, told the Munich state court that his condition has not significantly changed, and that his last blood transfusion was Oct. 5 and that his hemoglobin levels are now fine.
Nerl testified that of 31 blood examinations since April, 23 showed good hemoglobin levels, five were borderline and three were dangerously low.
The doctor told the court that Demjanjuk has benefited from drug treatments given to him in Germany that he had been unable to get in the U.S., because “in the USA he was not insured any more.”
“In general he is doing better here than in the USA,” Nerl testified.
But Demjanjuk’s son told The Associated Press that his father’s medical care in the U.S. was top-notch.
“Dr. Nerl’s testimony is false and intended only to support the court’s wishes,” John Demjanjuk Jr. said in an e-mail. “My father had very good medical insurance here as a Ford retiree and had doctors who cared for him without the pressure of politically motivated judges influencing their opinions.”
On Nov. 23 John Demjanjuk’s attorney asked a Munich court to free his client for the duration of his trial.
Ulrich Busch says the time the retired Ohio autoworker has already served behind bars in the U.S., Israel and Germany is greater than his maximum possible sentence.
Demjanjuk was already acquitted in Israel of having been a guard at Treblinka.
A U.S. Justice Department report made public last week says the Israeli court also considered the Sobibor charges.
Busch argued in his motion that Demjanjuk should get credit for the 7 1/2 years he was in custody in Israel, plus a year in the U.S. and 18 months in Germany.