Three-judge Federal Court Panel Upholds Deportation of War Criminal

A three-judge panel in federal court here has unanimously upheld the deportation order against Karl Linnas, an alleged Nazi war criminal who was sentenced to death in absentia in the Soviet Union for his part in the execution of 12,000 people, including 2,000 Jews at the Tartu concentration camp in his native Estonia during World War II.

Linnas, 66, was stripped of his U.S. citizenship in 1981 and was ordered deported to the Soviet Union in 1983 by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). He lives in Greenlawn, L.I.

The deportation order was affirmed by the Board of Immigration Appeals last year. Linnas took his case to the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan where it was rejected last Thursday by a 3-0 vote. He may still ask the full Second Circuit Court to reconsider the panel’s decision or he could appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. His attorney, Ivars Berzins, has refused to comment.

Linnas appealed against the deportation order on grounds that it deprived him of his constitutional rights of due process and equal protection under the law. But he lost his citizenship in 1981 after a federal court in Westbury, L.I., ruled that he had concealed his past activities when he entered the U.S. in 1951 and again when he was naturalized in 1960.

The court upheld government charges that Linnas served as commandant of the Tartu camp from 1941-43 and that he had personally participated in killing inmates.

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