Live

Watch CBSN Live

Doubt Cast on Auto Worker's Nazi Ties

An expert witness says a statement being used as evidence against John Demjanjuk should be treated with the "highest caution" because it came from a KGB interrogation.

Demjanjuk, a Ukrainian-born retired Ohio auto worker who was once a Soviet Red Army soldier, is accused of agreeing to serve as a guard for the SS and training at the Nazis' Trawniki camp following his capture in 1942.

The 89-year-old Demjanjuk, a retired Ohio auto worker, is charged with 27,900 counts of accessory to murder for allegedly serving as a guard at the Nazis' Sobibor death camp in 1943. He denies being there.

The defense has also argued that Soviet POWs who were recruited to serve the Germans did so only to escape death themselves, and that once in the service of the SS they could not flee.

Another guard at the camp, Ignat Danilchenko, told the KGB in 1979 he remembered Demjanjuk from Sobibor.

But historian Dieter Pohl told the court Thursday it appeared Danilchenko was telling the KGB what interrogators wanted to hear.

Co-prosecutor Stefan Schuenemann dismissed the possible setback, saying the statement was only "a small piece" of the overall evidence against Demjanjuk.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue