New York (Jul. 2)
The Justice Department said yesterday that the government will move quickly to deport alleged Nazi war criminal Andrija Artukovic, Minister of Interior and Justice in the Nazi sponsored puppet state of Croatia during World War II. Artukovic, 81, who resides in Surfside, California, is accused of responsibility for some 200,000 deaths, according to official U.S. government estimates.
Allen Ryan Jr., Director of the Office of Special Investigations (OSI) of the Justice Department said that the Immigration and Naturalization Service in a letter delivered yesterday had directed Artukovic to report to its regional office in Los Angeles by next Wednesday to be handed a deportation order.
He could be legally deported within 72 hours of his appearance at the regional office, but he may file a petition requesting a review of his order by the United States Court of Appeals for the ninth Judicial Circuit which includes California. Such a petition would automatically stay the deportation order.
DEPORTATION ORDERED 30 YEARS AGO
Artukovic has successfully resisted deportation for 30 years. He was ordered deported from the United States in August 1951 and concurrently the Yugoslav government had been seeking his extradition. In 1953, a decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals, determined that Artukovic “was a leading Nazi criminal during the second World War.” However he obtained a stay of deportation that has been effective since May 1959 on the grounds that he would be subject to “political persecution” if returned to Yugoslavia.
The order by the Immigration Board yesterday overturned the stay on the basis of a 1978 law which says that Nazi war criminals cannot claim deportation stays on the grounds that they would be subject to persecution.