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The World

November 05, 1987

A Russian historian, Count Nikolai Tolstoy, accused the prosecution in the Jerusalem war crimes trial of John Demjanjuk of trying to portray him as a Nazi and refused for 90 minutes to testify. The defense called Tolstoy, 52, as an expert about World War II in an attempt to bolster Demjanjuk's claim that he never worked at a Nazi death camp. Tolstoy refused at the start of the session to answer questions from Israeli prosecutor Yonah Blattman, charging that he was mistreated on the witness stand during cross-examination the previous day. After two recesses and a warning from Chief Justice Dov Levin, the historian returned to the stand and testified.

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