|John Demjanjuk is a former autoworker from Ohio.|
Judge orders accused Nazi to appear in court
MUNICH — A German judge for the first time ordered John Demjanjuk to appear in court after the 90-year-old’s health issues caused the cancellation of sessions in his trial over allegations that he was a guard at the Nazis’ Sobibor death camp.
Two sessions last week were called off, the last when the defendant suffered dehydration in hot weather, but Demjanjuk appeared yesterday in the Munich state court.
Judge Ralph Alt said he had informed the former Ohio autoworker on Wednesday that he was being ordered to attend. He did not elaborate.
Demjanjuk, as he has for most of his trial, followed the hearing from a bed in the courtroom and showed no reaction to the proceedings.
Demjanjuk, who was deported from the United States to Germany in May 2009, is being tried on 28,060 counts of accessory to murder.
He denies the charges. The defense maintains that Demjanjuk was a Soviet soldier captured by the Germans and spent most of the war in prison camps himself.
Demjanjuk suffers several medical problems, and more than 10 sessions have been canceled since November.
“The judge deemed him fit for trial,’’ said Margarete Noetzel, a court spokeswoman.
Demjanjuk’s lawyer, Ulrich Busch, has repeatedly called for the trial to be halted, but German doctors have declared Demjanjuk fit to stand trial as long as court sessions are limited to two 90-minute sessions per day.