Alleged Nazi guard cleared by court for deportation

Associated Press / May 2, 2009
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CLEVELAND - A federal appeals court opened the way again yesterday for the Justice Department to deport alleged Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk to Germany to face 29,000 counts of accessory to murder.

The three-judge ruling from the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati denied a stay of deportation for the 89-year-old retired autoworker from his suburban Cleveland home. His family said they are considering an appeal to the US Supreme Court.

An arrest warrant in Munich alleges he was a guard in Nazi-occupied Poland in 1943. Demjanjuk says he was a prisoner of war, not a camp guard.

His family says he's too old and sick to be sent to Germany, but the government says he gets around for his age and says surveillance video proves that.

The appeals court said it believed the government would provide appropriate care for Demjanjuk while deporting him.

On April 14, immigration officers carried Demjanjuk in his wheelchair out of his home to deport him. But within hours, the appeals court blocked the deportation while it reviewed his latest appeal.

As he was carried from his home, Demjanjuk had his head flung back and he moaned in apparent pain, infuriating relatives who said he had been promised a stretcher in consideration of his back pain. The government responded by sending surveillance video to the court showing Demjanjuk walking unassisted to a doctor's office on April 6.