Demjanjuk loses Supremes appeal


WASHINGTON (JTA) — The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a bid by John Demjanjuk to stop his deportation.

The rejection Thursday without comment would seem to leave no avenue for appeal for the former Nazi death camp guard.

Germany wants to try Demjanjuk, a retired Cleveland auto worker, for being an accessory to 29,000 murders in the Sobibor death camp. Demjanjuk, 89, had appealed the deportation, citing frailty; U.S. Justice Department officials, who had successfully stripped Demjanjuk of his U.S. citizenship because he had lied about his Nazi past, released video in recent days showing Demjanjuk in good health.

Demjanjuk was in 1986 deported to Israel where he was convicted and sentenced to death for being the notorious “Ivan the terrible” death guard at Treblinka. Israeli prosecutors later cleared him of those charges after uncovering evidence that “Ivan” was another man.

Israel’s Supreme Court said the evidence nonetheles proved that Demjanjuk had worked as a guard at Sobibor, but released him in 1993 because the seven years he had spent in jail were equivalent to the sentence he would have served for the lesser crime. He returned to Cleveland, where U.S. authorities launched proceedings to strip him of his citizenship.

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