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July 17, 1987 - Image 1

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-07-17

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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-

THIS ISSUE 60c

SERVING DETROIT'S JEWISH COMMUNITY

JULY 17, 1987 / 20 TAMMUZ 5747

Demjanjuk Mal Takes A Twist

Accused concentration camp guard's firing of his American attorney
publicizes defense team differences and ruffles the proceedings

HELEN DAVIS

Special to The Jewish News

DELICATE
BALANCE

A local teen
strives for '88

Jerusalem — Mark O'Connor, the
attorney from Buffalo, New York who
is absolutely convinced that John
Demjanjuk is not Ivan the Terrible,
has said that he sees his role in the
case as "historic".
That historic role came to an
abrupt end this week when, from his
Israeli prison cell, John Demjanjuk
summarily fired his lead defense
counsel.
O'Connor, 42, who had confided to
me that Demjanjuk would embark on
"a hunger strike until death" if he
abandoned the case for any reason,
was clearly taken completely by
surprise.
The dismissal came in a brutally
frank letter, dated June 30 and signed
by Demjanjuk: "I am totally
dissatisfied with your conduct of my
defense, your conduct with my family
and your conduct with defense funds,"
he wrote to the man who has been his
most vigorous and faithful defender
over the past five years.
According to O'Connor, the

Demjanjuk lawyers Yoram Sheftel and Mark
O'Connor confer.

Demjanjuk he saw shortly after he
received the letter "was a man who
was totally crestfallen, a man who
was confused."
The Jerusalem District Court,
meeting in special session Wednesday,
told Demjanjuk that it would not
extend its one-month adjournment
and gave him until Monday to decide
whether he indeed wanted to dismiss
O'Connor.
session,
Wednesday's
At

Demjanjuk officially informed the
court that he had decided to sack
O'Connor, but he wavered when
presiding Judge Dov Levin told him
that he would not allow a further
postponement of proceedings.
Nor, said the judge, could
O'Connor's dismissal be tied to the
appointment of United States
attorney John Broadley, who has not
been approved by the Israeli Justice
Minister or the Israeli bar.
Speaking now in his own defense,
O'Connor said he doubted that
Demjanjuk understood the nature or
the implications of what he had done.
"No matter what is in this letter,"
said O'Connor, "no matter what John
Demjanjuk believes he signed, the
question in my mind is that of
`informed consent' — does he know
the implications of his act?"
The attorney therefore announced
that he had asked the three judges
hearing the case to convene a special
session of the court, which is
currently in recess, to consider his
dismissal and to ensure that
Demjanjuk understands the full
consequences of his action.

Continued on Page 16

CLOSE-UP I

NOW
AND
FOREVER

Detroit's Jewish
cemeteries are
becoming
big business

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