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Appeals Court Upholds Order to Revoke Citizenship of Trifa

November 5, 1981
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The Sixth U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals here yesterday upheld a lower court ruling to revoke the U.S. citizenship of Rumanian Archbishop Valerian Trifa. The ruling thus clears the way for the U. S. government to initiate deportation proceedings against the 67-year-old cleric who heads the Rumanian Orthodox Church in the U. S.

The unanimous decision rejected Trifa’s appeal on the grounds that there was no basis for the appeal because he voluntarily signed an agreement surrendering his citizenship last year. Two weeks after signing the agreement, Federal District Judge Horace Gilmore revoked Trifa’s citizenship.

Trifa is accused of concealing his ties to the Fascist Rumanian Iron Guard when he entered the U. S. in 1950 and when he was granted U. S. citizenship in 1957. He is accused of inciting a Bucharest pogrom in 1941 which killed 236 Jews and Christians. Trifa has denied the charges.

Trifa’s attorney, William Swor, argued that his client thought he was only signing a form for the consent judgment, according to the Detroit Jewish News, but the judges were openly skeptical about this contention.

The court’s ruling ends a six-year U. S. government case against Trifa, who lives in Grass Lake, Mich. He may appeal to the U. S. Supreme Court. Swor did not indicate whether he would appeal.

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