John Demjanjuk [JURIST news archive], a retired Ohio autoworker convicted of being an accessory to over 28,000 murders as a guard at a Nazi extermination camp, died in a nursing home Saturday at the age of 91. Demjanjuk, who was born in Ukraine and later became a US citizen, was convicted in a German court [JURIST report] in May and sentenced to five years in prison. The judge, however, ordered his release because of his age so that he could receive proper care while the verdict was being appealed. He maintained until his death, as did his son in an interview after his death [AP report] Saturday, that he was an innocent Soviet POW who was framed by Germany. Demjanjuk's trial was likely the last of the Nazi war crimes trials.
After being convicted in May, Demjanjuk filed a request in a US court to determine whether the US government withheld evidence that the Nazi ID card used against him could have been a fake made by Soviets. In May 2010 a German judge denied a motion to dismiss [JURIST report] the charges due to lack of evidence. He was found fit to stand trial [JURIST report] in that court in October 2009 against allegations by Demjanjuk and his family that he was too old and sick to go through a trial. He was deported to Germany [JURIST report] from the US in May 2009 after the US Supreme Court refused to hear his appeal of a 2005 deportation order [JURIST reports] by a US Chief Immigration Judge.