Demjanjuk to appeal to Supreme Court

Associated Press / May 6, 2009
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CLEVELAND - A lawyer for alleged Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk said yesterday that he is asking the US Supreme Court to halt the deportation of the 89-year-old suburban Cleveland resident to Germany, where he faces 29,000 counts of being an accessory to murder.

John Broadley said he sent the motion from Florida and expects it to be filed with the court this morning. Demjanjuk's family argues he is too sick and frail to be deported.

Broadley said he will ask for a reprieve of at least 90 days so he can argue that a federal appeals court in Ohio erred last week when it denied Demjanjuk a stay of deportation.

The Justice Department says Demjanjuk and his lawyers have used court filings as a delay tactic. The department provided the appeals court with surveillance video that government lawyers contend shows Demjanjuk is fit enough to travel.

The filing, a copy of which was provided to the Associated Press by the Demjanjuk family, says that even a medically equipped airplane could not eliminate the risk of great pain.

Evidence is compelling that "transporting Mr. Demjanjuk to Germany will expose him to serious risks and severe pain and that using an ambulance aircraft mitigates, but does not eliminate, those risks and pain," Broadley said in the filing.

Such a risk provides grounds for halting the deportation, the filing said.

"Where Mr. Demjanjuk is 89 years old and in poor health, failure to find irreparable injury is incomprehensible," the filing said.

Demjanjuk has said he suffers severe spinal, hip, and leg pain and has a bone marrow disorder, kidney disease, anemia, kidney stones, arthritis, gout, and spinal deterioration.

An arrest warrant in Germany accuses Demjanjuk of being a guard at the Sobibor camp in Nazi-occupied Poland in 1943.

Last month immigration officers carried Demjanjuk in his wheelchair out of his home to deport him on a flight on an executive jet that was waiting on the tarmac.

Within hours, the appeals court blocked the deportation while it reviewed his latest appeal. The court cleared the way for deporting him in a ruling Friday.