John Demjanjuk: Munich court hears Sobibor case plea

John Demjanjuk. File photo
Image caption John Demjanjuk says he was forced to help the Nazis

A lawyer for alleged death camp guard John Demjanjuk has called for his client to be acquitted, as final arguments began in a trial in Germany.

Ulrich Busch told the court in Munich that prosecutors had failed to produce any evidence of Mr Demjnajuk's guilt.

The 91-year-old is accused of having helped to murder 27,900 Jews at the Sobibor death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland in 1943.

Mr Demjanjuk denies the charges. A verdict is expected later in May.

"Prosecutors and plaintiffs have not put forward a single piece of evidence that show the guilt of my client," Mr Busch said on Tuesday.

The defence lawyer added that his demands were "acquittal for the defendant, release from prison and damages for false imprisonment".

"If not, then there will be an appeal," Mr Busch said.

The defence has a few days to wrap up its arguments.

'Ivan the Terrible'

The prosecutors are calling for Mr Demjanjuk, who appeared in the courtroom in a wheelchair, to be sentenced to six years in jail.

They say he participated willingly in the Holocaust.

Mr Demjanjuk insists that he was forced to help the Nazis and had no choice.

An estimated 250,000 people died in the gas chambers at Sobibor.

Born in Ukraine, Mr Demjanjuk emigrated to the US in 1951 and later became a naturalised citizen.

In 2009, he was extradited to Germany from the US to face trial.

Mr Demjanjuk had already spent eight years in detention in Israel.

In the 1980s, an Israeli court identified him as "Ivan the Terrible", a notoriously sadistic guard at the Treblinka death camp. But his conviction was overturned after new evidence showed that another Ukrainian was probably responsible.

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