Demjanjuk witness accused of perjury in German court

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The Independent Online

A former US Secret Service forensics expert who testified at the John Demjanjuk Nazi war crimes trial is being investigated for perjury.

The trial prosecutor, Hans-Joachim Lutz, said that his office was obliged to open the investigation against former agent Larry Stewart, who testified in Munich last week, after defence attorney Ulrich Busch filed a complaint with the court accusing him of perjury.

Mr Busch argued that Mr Stewart's Munich testimony contradicted statements he had made in US District Court in Ohio in 2001 – the year after he examined documents being used as evidence against Mr Demjanjuk. The prosecutor refused to comment on the possibility of charges being filed, saying the evidence first had to be examined.

Mr Stewart rejected the allegation. "I was asked different questions this time, so I answered the questions I was asked," he said.

Mr Demjanjuk, a retired Ohio autoworker who turned 90 in April, is standing trial on 28,060 counts of accessory to murder on allegations that he was a guard at the Nazi Sobibor death camp in occupied Poland.

He denies ever being at any camp, claiming he is the victim of mistaken identity. But the prosecution argues that a Nazi-era identity card has Mr Demjanjuk's picture on it, and it indicates he was a guard at Sobibor. Mr Stewart analysed the identity card and 21 other documents being used in the case.