Demjanjuk 'fit to stay in jail'

13:27, 13 May 2009
World
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Until such time as he goes on trial

Suspected Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk is fit enough to be held in jail until such time as he goes on trial, German prison doctors say, BBC reported.

Mr Demjanjuk, 89, was flown to Germany on Tuesday from the United States, where he waged a long battle against deportation, partly on health grounds.

But a spokesman for Stadelheim jail in Munich said "doctors have determined he is fit to remain in custody".

He faces charges of being an accessory to the deaths of 29,000 Jews.

The arrest warrant was read to him hours after his arrival in Germany.

His lawyer, Guenter Maull, said the suspect had sat in a chair while the 21-page warrant was read and translated into his native Ukrainian language.

Mr Demjanjuk said he "showed no emotion, with few facial movements" but had understood the charges.

He denies accusations that he worked as a guard in the Sobibor Nazi death camp in Poland during World War II.

Mr Demjanjuk, who settled in the US in 1952, says he was captured by the Germans in his native Ukraine during the war and kept as a prisoner of war.

He is being kept under medical observation to allow experts to determine whether he is fit to go to trial - an assessment which may take weeks.

BBC

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