Poland drops Nazi war crimes probe (Demjanjuk case)

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POLISH war crimes prosecutors today announced they have dropped a probe against John Demjanjuk, 88, an ethnic Ukrainian living in the United States dogged by allegations of Nazi war crimes.

"The investigation was dropped December 19, 2007 due lack of evidence to incriminate Demjanjuk for murder," prosecutor Anna Galkiewicz of Poland's Institute for National Remembrance (IPN) said.

The IPN is charged with investigating and prosecuting Nazi and communist-era crimes.

Twenty years ago eyewitnesses identified Demjanjuk, a retired US autoworker, as "Ivan the Terrible", one of the infamous torturers at the Treblinka Nazi German concentration camp, located in what is now eastern Poland. Demjanjuk was born Ivan, later using the English version of his name John in the United States.

Deported by the US to Israel he was sentenced to death by an Israeli court in April 1988 but then acquitted by Israel's supreme court which used KGB archives to identify a different man, Ivan Marchenko, as "Ivan the Terrible".

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre insists Demjanjuk must be brought to justice for his alleged work as a guard in other Nazi death camps including Majdanek, Sobibor and Treblinka II.

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