Saturday, May 02, 2009

DEMJANJUK LOSES DEPORTATION CASE

Still from US government video of John Demjanjuk getting into car - 6/4/2009
Government video appeared to show Mr Demjanjuk walking unassisted

A US appeals court has denied a stay of deportation to alleged Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk, who is wanted in Germany on war crimes charges.

The ruling allows for the 89-year-old Ohio resident to be deported - although the appeals process is not exhausted.

A stay of deportation was granted earlier in April after federal agents briefly removed him from his home.

His family said he was too ill to be moved but the government has filed video showing him walking unassisted.

Mr Demjanjuk denies charges of being a guard at the Sobibor death camp in World War II.

He claims he was captured by the Germans in his native Ukraine during the war and kept as a prisoner of war.

He is wanted in Germany to face charges of aiding the death of 29,000 Jews.

A three-judge panel from the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, Ohio, said it was satisfied that Mr Demjanjuk would be provided with adequate care while being deported.

"Based on the medical information before the court and the government's representations about the conditions under which it will transport the petitioner... the court cannot find that the petitioner's removal to Germany is likely to cause irreparable harm sufficient to warrant a stay of removal," the judges ruled.

A spokesman for the Justice Department would not say when Mr Demjanjuk might be deported, AFP news agency reported.

Mr Demjanjuk's son has said if his father is deported, he would die in hospital in Germany before a trial could be conducted.

DEMJANJUK CASE TIMELINE
1952: Gains entry into the US, claiming he spent most of the war as a German prisoner
1977: First charged with war crimes, accused of being "Ivan the Terrible"
1981: Stripped of US citizenship
1986: Extradited to Israel
1993: Israeli Supreme Court overturns conviction, ruling that he is not Ivan the Terrible
2002: Loses US citizenship after a judge said there was proof he worked at Nazi camps
2005: A judge rules in favour of deportation to his native Ukraine
2009: Germany issues an arrest warrant for him; US immigration agents seize him at his home but later release him

The 6th Circuit Court granted Mr Demjanjuk an 11th hour reprieve on 14 April shortly after federal agents carried him from his home in a wheelchair.

The court said it wanted to examine his case further.

Mr Demjanjuk arrived in the US in 1952 as a refugee, settling in Cleveland, Ohio, where he worked in the car industry.

In 1988, Mr Demjanjuk was sentenced to death in Israel for crimes against humanity after Holocaust survivors identified him as the notorious "Ivan the Terrible", a guard at the Treblinka death camp.

Israel's highest court later overturned his sentence and freed him, after newly unearthed documents from the former Soviet Union indicated that "Ivan the Terrible" had probably been a different man.

Mr Demjanjuk returned to the US, but in 2002 had his US citizenship stripped because of his failure to disclose his work at Nazi camps when he first arrived as a refugee.

In 2005, a US immigration judge ruled that he could be deported to Germany, Poland or Ukraine.

BBC NEWS REPORT.

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