JERUSALEM (JTA) — A U.S. immigration judge has reversed a stay of deportation for convicted Nazi guard John Demjanjuk.
The decision clears the way for Demjanjuk to be deported to Germany. Demjanjuk, 89, who was stripped in 2002 of his U.S. citizenship for lying about his Nazi past, had been scheduled to be deported last Sunday, but was granted an indefinite stay of deportation by Judge Wayne Iskra late last Friday. Germany had requested his extradition in order to try him on an indictment that includes 29,000 counts of accessory to murder.
Iskra, of the Federal Immigration Court in Arlington, Va., on Monday reversed his earlier decision, saying he did not have the jurisdiction to make the decision.
Iskra ruled late Friday that Demjanjuk could remain in his suburban Cleveland home while he ruled on whether deporting Demjanjuk to Germany would constitute "torture," a claim set forth by the family. The family said that Demjanjuk is too old and sick to travel, according to reports.
Demjanjuk is expected to file an appeal before the U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals on Monday or Tuesday.
Demjanjuk was accused in the early 1980s of being the notorious Treblinka death camp guard "Ivan the Terrible," but he was released from jail in Israel after seven years after he could not be identified as "Ivan" beyond a reasonable doubt.
The U.S. Justice Department later reported that Demjanjuk had been a guard at Sobibor and was liable for deportation because he lied about his Nazi past to obtain U.S. citizenship.
The Munich court said it had relied heavily on material provided by the U.S. Office of Special investigations in making its decision to prosecute Demjanjuk.
Meanwhile, federal prosecutors filed papers in immigration court Friday to deport Anton Geiser, 84, of Sharon, Pa. for serving in 1943 as an armed SS Death’s Head guard at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp near Berlin.