14 Jul 2009

Accused Nazi guard Demjanjuk charged

8:24 am on 14 July 2009

German prosecutors charged alleged Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk on Monday with helping to kill nearly 28,000 Jews in World War II.

"State prosecutors in Munich have today charged the 89-year-old John Demjanjuk as an accessory to murder in a total of 27,900 cases," prosecutors said in a statement.

Prosecutors said the long-time Ohio resident, who has been held in a jail in southern Germany since 12 May after he was deported from the United States, would be tried in a Munich court, but did not specify when.

John Demjanjuk has said he was drafted into the Soviet army in 1941, became a German prisoner of war a year later and served at German prison camps until 1944. He emigrated to the United States in 1951 and became a naturalised citizen in 1958.

Medical experts deemed Demjanjuk fit to stand trial despite protestations from his family that he is too frail.

They have recommended that the hearings should be restricted to two sessions of 90 minutes per day.