- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 14, 2009

SEVEN HILLS, OHIO (AP) - U.S. immigration officers carried John Demjanjuk from his Ohio home on Tuesday to deport him to Germany, where an arrest warrant alleges the frail 89-year-old was a Nazi death camp guard.

The family promised to pursue legal action to block his flight to Germany.

Demjanjuk was carried out of his home on a wheelchair and placed in a waiting van as family members, including his sobbing wife, Vera, watched.

His son, John Demjanjuk Jr., filed motions earlier in the day in Cincinnati asking the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for a stay of deportation. The government objected.

German prosecutors claim 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.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a brief statement that officers were enforcing a deportation order. The agency declined to comment on the family’s determination to block his deportation flight or any other issue, spokesman Lou Martinez said.

Demjanjuk Jr. said the government hadn’t lived up to earlier understandings on how his father would be removed.

“They told me that they would have an ambulance. They told me we would have three to five days notice and obviously you can’t believe everything the government tells you,” he told The Associated Press by phone while headed back to Cleveland from the federal appeals court in Cincinnati.

He predicted his father would not survive long enough in Germany to stand trial.

“If he is deported, if this madness and inhumane action is not stopped by the 6th Circuit, he will live out his life in a (German) hospital. He will never be put on trial,” he said. “It makes absolutely no sense that the Germans, after nearly killing him in combat, would try to kill him once again.”

The U.S. attorney general’s office filed a response to Demjanjuk’s 6th Circuit motions, saying the court does not have the authority to rule on a previous denial for a stay by the U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals.

“Because there is no reviewable final order of removal, this court lacks jurisdiction,” the government said.

Demjanjuk, a native Ukrainian, has denied being a Nazi guard and claims he was a prisoner of war of the Germans. He came to the United States after the war as a refugee.

Demjanjuk had been tried in Israel after accusations surfaced that he was the notorious Nazi guard “Ivan the Terrible” in Poland at the Treblinka death camp. He was found guilty in 1988 of war crimes and crimes against humanity, a conviction later overturned by the Israeli Supreme Court.

A U.S. judge revoked his citizenship in 2002 based on Justice Department evidence showing he concealed his service at Sobibor and other Nazi-run death and forced labor camps.

An immigration judge ruled in 2005 he could be deported to Germany, Poland or Ukraine.

Guenther Maull, a Munich-based lawyer for Demjanjuk said earlier Tuesday that his client could arrive in Germany on Wednesday.


Associated Press Writers Thomas J. Sheeran in Cleveland, Terry Kinney in Cincinnati, Kantele Franko in Columbus and Roland Losch in Munich contributed to this report.

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