- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 14, 2009

CLEVELAND (AP) - U.S. immigration agents arrived Tuesday at John Demjanjuk’s suburban Cleveland home to deport him to Germany, where an arrest warrant alleges the frail 89-year-old was a Nazi death camp guard, his son said. John Demjanjuk Jr. was returning to the Cleveland area from Cincinnati, where he had filed motions asking the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for a stay of deportation and to reopen the U.S. case that ordered his father deported. He was in contact with people at his father’s home.

“He can’t stand up and walk out of the house,” Demjanjuk Jr. said. “We weren’t anticipating anything like this. I was told that a family member could accompany him. We also were told that we would have 3-5 days notice before anything happened.”

Around 1 p.m., five men in two unmarked cars arrived at Demjanjuk’s home and at least three have been inside the home.

A wheelchair-accessible van arrived after one man was heard saying on a cell phone, “John can’t get out of bed.”

Two priests who came to the home later went inside and left after a short time.

Demjanjuk Jr. said it’s urgent that the appeals court act quickly, because he has been told that immigration agents would depart with his father from Cleveland at 3 p.m.

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. “Simply put, this court does not have the statutory authority to entertain his request and related motion.”

Pat Reilly, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, reached on cell phone Tuesday, said the federal agency is not commenting on the case.

If reviewed, the filing at the U.S. appeals court would set up another venue where Demjanjuk (pronounced dem-YAHN’-yuk) of suburban Cleveland could try to show that he is too sick to travel.

His family has said he is in constant pain from several ailments and that being deported to Germany amounts to torture.

“Again, he will stand trial for his life _ not this time by hanging but by the cruel and inhumane condition of transport and the stress of arrest, confinement and trial of this now 89 year old man who is in poor health,” the motion says.

It asks the appeals court to consider Demjanjuk’s health and age and says that during the trip to Germany he would be attended by medical personnel interested in keeping him stable “in order to deliver him to German authorities who clearly have their own agenda.”

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.

Demjanjuk, a native Ukrainian, has denied being a Nazi guard, long claiming 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.

The Immigration Appeals board in Falls Church, Va., had denied a motion for an emergency stay on Friday.

The U.S. Justice Department has opposed his previous appeals.


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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