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Friday, 7 October 2011

German prosecutors to prosecute dozens of former Nazis

Conviction of Jon Demjanjuk prompted the reopening of investigations against guards who worked in Holocaust extermination camps.

The criminal conviction of Nazi concentration guard John Demjanjuk in May prompted German prosecutors on Wednesday to reopen dozens of investigations and cases against guards who worked in the vast set of extermination camps during the Holocaust.

The German authorities announced the new prosecutions on Wednesday, according to media reports.

The 91-year-old Ukranianborn Demjanjuk was deported from the US to Germany in 2009. A Munich court convicted him in May of 28,060 counts of accessory to murder for working as a guard at the Sobibor death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.

Demjanjuk’s attorney has appealed the conviction.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center on Thursday hailed the decision by German prosecutors to open criminal investigations against dozens of former guards at Nazi concentration camps.

Efraim Zuroff, from the Wiesenthal Center, said he welcomed efforts to bring former guards to justice based on the precedent of John Demjanjuk, found guilty of being an accessory to murder for the time he was guarding Treblinka concentration camp.

Zuroff, who is widely considered to be world’s leading hunter of Nazis, told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday that “The Demjanjuk conviction has created the possibility to prosecute perhaps as many as several dozen Holocaust perpetrators who served in the most lethal Nazi installations and units, and basically spent as much as two years carrying out mass murder on practically a daily basis.

He added that “These were the persons who carried out the major bulk of the mass murder of European Jews during the Holocaust – practically half of the approximately six million Jewish victims.”

Kurt Schrimm, the head of the Central Office for the Investigation of Nazi Crimes in Germany (Zentrale Stelle) said: “We don’t want to wait too long, so we’ve already begun our investigations,” according to a Guardian news report on Wednesday.

This item continues at  Jewish World

BNP man faces gun charges (UK)

A former parish councillor and BNP activist has appeared in court on firearms charges.

The trial of David Lucas, 51, of South Road, Lakenheath, began at Ipswich Crown Court on Wednesday.

Lucas is charged with possessing a gun capable of firing flares 500ft into the air – labelled ‘potentially lethal’ by prosecutors. He is also charged with having ammunition for the gun which he purchased more than three years ago in Alaska.

On Wednesday, jurors were shown the orange gun, made largely from plastic, which still bears a $24.99 price sticker.

Martyn Levett, prosecuting, told the court that police had arrested Lucas after searching Black Dyke Farm, in Hockwold, on August 18 last year. Officers found the gun and ammunition on a shelf inside a portable building.

Experts examined the items and decided the gun and ammunition were, under the 1968 Firearms Act, items which required a firearms certificate to possessf.

Lucas, who admitted he did not hold a firearms certificate, challenged whether the items were covered by the Firearms Act and claims he was not holding them illegally.

Mr Levett said the gun, an Orion Signal Launcher, was found with 11 flares of a 12 bore size.

“If carelessly pointed at someone the effect would be potentially lethal,” he said.

He added that a second firearms expert had also examined the gun and agreed that it was covered by the Firearms Act.

Lucas stood as a BNP candidate in the European elections in 2009 and has previously served on Lakenheath Parish Council.

In June last year he was given a one year prison sentence suspended for one year for possessing ammunition and gunpowder.

The trial is expected to finish today.

Bury Free Press