Judge blocks Demjanjuk deportation!
'Nazi guard' deportation blocked
Saturday, 4 April 2009
CLEVELAND A US judge has blocked an order to deport an
alleged Nazi concentration camp guard, two days before he
was due to be extradited to Germany.
John Demjanjuk, 89, is accused of involvement in the deaths
of 29,000 Jews at a camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.
He denies any involvement and has asked for asylum in the US,
arguing that deportation would constitute torture.
An immigration judge said the block would stay until a decision
had been reached on whether to re-open his case.
Lawyers for Mr. Demjanjuk say his health is far too poor for him
to make the journey.
In March, Germany issued an arrest warrant for the Ukraine
national over the deaths of thousands of Jews at the Sobibor
camp during World War II.
But Mr. Demjanjuk, who migrated to the US in 1952, says he
was a prisoner of war of the Nazis rather than a prison guard.
Sentenced to death in Israel
In 1986, he was extradited to Israel and sentenced to death
for war crimes, after being identified by witnesses as "Ivan
the Terrible" a notorious prison guard at the Treblinka camp.
But the Israeli Supreme Court overturned his conviction, when
new evidence emerged suggesting he was not the same guard.
He returned to the US but was accused of lying on his immigration
application about working for the Nazis.
In 2002, a US immigration judge ruled that there was enough
evidence to prove Mr. Demjanjuk had been a guard at several
[alleged] Nazi death camps and stripped him of his citizenship.
German authorities now say they have new evidence linking him
to the crimes of which he has been accused.
Demjanjuk was to be rendered to German prison despite poor health
Nazi death camp guard Ivan Demjanjuk to return to Germany: lawyer
Thursday, 2 April 2009
CLEVELAND A "Nazi death camp guard" accused of assisting in the
murder of at least 29,000 Jews will next week be flown to Germany,
which seeks to try him for his alleged activities, his lawyer said.
Upon his arrival on Monday in the southern German city of Munich,
Ivan Demjanjuk, who turns 89 on Friday, will be arrested and either
taken straight to prison or to a prison hospital, Guenter Maull said.
Demjanjuk's bid to convince officials in the US, where he now lives,
to block his extradition on the grounds of poor health, has failed,
Mr. Maull added.
The Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk who changed his name to John
when he moved to the US in 1952 is a top target for Nazi hunters.
He was ranked number two on the Simon Wiesenthal's 2008 "most
wanted" Nazi criminal list, behind Aribert Heim - who, according to
a recent investigation, died in 1992.
German prosecutors issued an arrest warrant in March, accusing him
of serving between March and September 1943 at the Sobibor death
camp in occupied Poland.
'Witnesses' offer stereotype 'evidence'
US investigators have brought together witnesses* who described
how Demjanjuk was seen at Sobibor kicking Jews or hitting them with
his rifle butt to get them out of railway wagons more quickly.
The Office for Special Investigations (OSI)** in the United States
described Sobibor "as close an approximation of Hell as has ever
been created on this planet".
The extradition marks the latest episode in Demjanjuk's nearly
30-year cat-and-mouse game with justice.
He was sentenced to death in 1988 in an Israeli court, suspected
of being the infamous concentration camp guard "Ivan the Terrible",
one of the most feared and sadistic torturers in the SS death squad.
The sentence was overturned five years later by Israel's Supreme
Court after statements from former guards identified another man
as "Ivan the Terrible".
He is reportedly in poor health and suffering from a form of leukemia,
his lawyer said.
"We now only want to die in peace," his wife Vera told mass
circulation daily Bild in a recent interview.
* It has been standard procedure in these witch-hunt cases to recruit
so-called witnesses in Israel, who have never seen the defendant before, to give the most horrific (and often contradictory), fictional account of the sadistic atrocities supposedly committed by the "evil Nazi" defendant.
** The director of the OSI is one Eli M. Rosenbaum. Like himself,
most of his collaborators are fellow Jews with a strong commitment
to the State of Israel and the Jewish agenda.
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