Immigration board won't reopen case of alleged Nazi guard

Associated Press / April 17, 2009
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CLEVELAND - A US immigration appeals board yesterday denied a request to reopen the deportation case of John Demjanjuk, who is wanted in Germany to face accusations that he served as a Nazi death camp guard.

Meanwhile, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Demjanjuk's only avenue of appeal at the moment, asked the Justice Department and Demjanjuk's lawyers to provide more information. Lawyers have one week to respond, meaning the 89-year-old retired autoworker will remain at his suburban Cleveland home for now.

An arrest warrant in Germany says Demjanjuk was an accessory to some 29,000 deaths during World War II at the Sobibor camp in Nazi-occupied Poland. Once in Germany, he could be formally charged in court.

Family and lawyers representing Demjanjuk have said that flying him to Germany would amount to torture and that he might not survive the flight.

The Cincinnati-based Appeals Court halted his deportation Tuesday, shortly after immigration officers carried Demjanjuk from his home in a wheelchair to start him on his journey to Germany. He returned home a few hours later. The Appeals Court's deportation stay remains in effect.

Yesterday, the Appeals Court said the US Department of Justice must provide a copy of the doctor's report it used to determine Demjanjuk is healthy enough to travel. It also asked for the government's plans for taking Demjanjuk to Germany and wants Demjanjuk's lawyers to file papers addressing whether the court has jurisdiction.