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Suspected Nazi Guard's Prison Stay Extended

April 12, 1986|Associated Press

RAMLE, Israel — A judge Friday ordered John Demjanjuk held for 15 more days after prosecutors said they needed time to study new evidence they said would help prove whether he was the Nazi guard known as "Ivan the Terrible."

Prosecutors presented stacks of documents during a hearing in a tiny room at the maximum security Ayalon Prison where Demjanjuk, a retired Ohio auto worker, is being held.

Details of the evidence were not revealed, but prosecutors said it came from courts in several countries and includes pictures.

Extradited From U.S.

Demjanjuk, 65, was extradited from the United States on Feb. 28 to stand trial on charges of operating the gas chambers at the Treblinka camp in Poland during 1942 and 1943.

About 900,000 people died at Treblinka, which was run by Germans. Survivors have described the guard known as Ivan the Terrible as a particularly sadistic person who seemed to take pleasure in killing and sometimes tortured his victims.

Demjanjuk faces a possible death sentence if convicted.

The balding, bespectacled Demjanjuk was brought into the room under heavy guard and his handcuffs were removed for the hearing. He appeared cheerful, joking with his translator and smiling and waving at journalists.

Well-Treated Prisoner

Asked during a brief recess in the hearing how he was feeling, Demjanjuk replied, "I'm being treated well." Prison officials then prevented him from answering further questions.

Demjanjuk, a father of three, has denied ever being in Treblinka and said he is a victim of mistaken identity. His U.S. attorney, Mark O'Connor, said he will prove that the guard known as Ivan the Terrible was killed in a prisoner revolt at Treblinka in 1943.

At Friday's hearing, police prosecutor Alex Ish-Shalom showed Judge Avraham Ben-Hador two file folders and a stack of papers that he said were new evidence gathered in the last several days.

Ish-Shalom said additional time is needed to translate and analyze the evidence.

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