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06may09


John Demjanjuk's lawyers file appeal with U.S. Supreme Court.


WASHINGTON John Demjanjuk petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday to stop his deportation to Germany, his last attempt to remain in his Seven Hills home by claiming that sending him overseas would amount to torture.

Demjanjuk requested a three-month delay so the high court can review issues the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected last week. The appellate court's ruling cleared the way for him to be removed from the country.

It could take the Supreme Court a few days or more than a month to rule. Federal authorities have said they will not try to take Demjanjuk from his home while the high court considers the case.

"Realistically, if the Supreme Court turns down our stay, there is no place else to go," said Demjanjuk's attorney, John Broadley. He could file more appeals with different courts, but only if there are new issues to address.

Broadley, in his filing with the Supreme Court, blasted federal prosecutors for pushing German authorities to accept a feeble man and put him on trial over charges that as a guard in a Nazi extermination camp he helped send thousands of Jews to their deaths. Broadley also urged the justices to consider Demjanjuk's poor health.

"It is difficult to conceive of an injury more irreparable than that inflicted when a sick, 89-year-old man is sent away from his family to a foreign country where he does not speak the language, where he will be arrested, incarcerated and probably put on trial, and where, given his age and serious illnesses, he may well die," the filing said.

Prosecutors have said that Demjanjuk has faked some of his health problems, offering surveillance videos that show him walking with ease, and that his appeals are delaying tactics. They have stressed that he should be deported because several U.S. courts have found that he concealed his Nazi service at several concentration camps when he entered the country in 1952.

Also Wednesday, a German court rejected a lawsuit against that country to block the deportation. The suit cited Demjanjuk's deteriorating health and his separation from his family and asserted that the country would be saddled with his health care.

The Administrative Court in Berlin said in a press release that Demjanjuk's suit lacked legal basis. It said the deportation should be addressed by U.S. officials, not German.

In March, a German court issued an arrest warrant and accused him of helping to kill 29,000 Jews at the Sobibor death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland in 1943. German officials have said they would arrest Demjanjuk and place him on trial.

In April, he appealed to the U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals and the 6th Circuit in Cincinnati, seeking to stay here. He claimed he was too old and ill to be deported, suffering from blood disorders, spinal problems and kidney disease. He was rejected, prompting him to go to the Supreme Court.

U.S. immigration officials twice planned to deport Demjanjuk in April. He was scheduled to fly to Germany on April 5, but an immigration judge granted him a reprieve. Nine days later, federal agents took him from his home, only to have an appeals court grant another delay.

[Source: By John Caniglia and Sabrina Eaton, The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, USA, 06May09]

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