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Defense Lawyer Files Motion to Have Demjanjuk Released

December 28, 1990

JERUSALEM (AP) _ The lawyer for convicted Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk said Friday he has filed a motion to have his client freed because of new evidence that could prove his innocence.

The Supreme Court will hear the motion Monday, said Yoram Sheftel, Demjanjuk’s Israeli attorney.

The court heard Demjanjuk’s appeal of his death sentence last summer, but has not yet issued its final ruling. Demjanjuk, a retired auto worker, lived in Ohio after the war and was extradited to Israel for trial in 1986.

Sheftel said a file discovered in Moscow proves that his client is not ″Ivan the Terrible,″ a gas-chamber operator at the Treblinka camp in Nazi-held Poland who raped, beat and stabbed Jews headed to their deaths.

The newly discovered file contains ″numerous statements taken in the 1950s by Ukrainian guards at Treblinka that state clearly that ‘Ivan the Terrible’ was Ivan Marczenko,″ Sheftel said.

″There is no dispute that Demjanjuk was never called Marczenko and was born under (the name) Demjanjuk,″ Sheftel added.

The prosecution contends Demjanjuk took the alias Marczenko because it was his mother’s maiden name.

Sheftel said he discovered the material in Moscow three weeks ago and that the prosecution had flown to Moscow to investigate it.

Prosecutor Michael Sheked could not be reached for comment.

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