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Germany court rejects Demjanjuk bid to block extradition from US

[JURIST] A German court on Wednesday rejected an emergency suit filed by accused Nazi prison guard John Demjanjuk [NNDB profile; JURIST news archive] seeking to block his deportation from the US. Demjanjuk faces deportation to Germany, where in March a Munich district court charged [JURIST report] him with 29,000 counts of accessory to murder for his alleged involvement at the Sobibor [Death Camps backgrounder] concentration camp. The Berlin court ruled [AP report] Wednesday that the decision whether to stay deportation is one for US courts. Also Wednesday, lawyers for Demjanjuk filed an appeal [stay application, PDF] with the US Supreme Court [official website], seeking to overturn last week's decision by the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit [official website] to deny a stay of deportation [order, PDF]. The Sixth Circuit ruled [JURIST report] that there was insufficient evidence to demonstrate that deporting him to Germany at age 89 would constitute torture.

Demjanjuk has fought a lengthy legal battle over his alleged involvement with Nazi death camps during World War II. In 2008, the US Supreme Court denied certiorari in Demjanjuk v. Mukasey [order, PDF; JURIST report], ending the appeals process for his deportation order. Demjanjuk was appealing a 2005 ruling [JURIST report] by then-US Chief Immigration Judge Michael Creppy which ordered his deportation. Demjanjuk had previously lost his appeal to the BIA. Additionally, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit denied Demjanjuk's petition for review [text, PDF] in January 2008. In 1988, Demjanjuk was convicted and sentenced to death by an Israeli court which found that he was a notorious guard from Treblinka nicknamed "Ivan the Terrible." The sentence was vacated by the Israeli Supreme Court in 1993, and Demjanjuk returned to the US.

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