Defense attorney requests Demjanjuk return to U.S.


(JTA) — A federal public defender in Ohio has filed a request to bring Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk back to the United States.

Attorney Dennis Terez in his request last week to U.S. District Judge Dan Aaron Polster claimed that prosecutors withheld documents that could have helped his case. Terez asked the judge to order a hearing to determine why prosecutors did not turn over a 1985 FBI memo about a Nazi identification card that placed Demjanjuk at the Trawniki guard camp.

The FBI memo speculates that the card could have been fabricated by the KGB. The card has been tested and found authentic several times over the past 30 years, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.

Demjanjuk, a retired Cleveland-area autoworker, was extradited to Germany in 2009 to face charges of being an accessory to more than 28,000 deaths at the Sobibor Nazi concentration camp. A Munich court in May found Demjanjuk guilty of war crimes and sentenced him to five years in prison; he is residing in a German nursing home while the case is appealed.

Demjanjuk is stateless and has no passport. He cannot enter the United States unless Polster decides to overturn a 2002 denaturalization order. Demjanjuk’s citizenship was revoked for lying about his Nazi past to gain citizenship. The U.S. goverment has asked Polster not to reopen the citizenship case.

In the early 1980s, Demjanjuk was accused of being the notorious guard "Ivan the Terrible" at the Treblinka death camp. He was deported to Israel in 1986 and sentenced to death in 1988, but the Israeli Supreme Court overturned his conviction in 1993 after finding reasonable doubt that he was the guard in question.

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