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Last Updated: Friday, 30 April, 2004, 18:33 GMT 19:33 UK
Alleged Nazi guard loses appeal
John Demjanjuk
Demjanjuk's family say he is too old to face deportation
A US court has ruled that a Ukrainian immigrant should be stripped of his American citizenship because he served as a guard in Nazi death camp.

The appeal court upheld a 2002 decision by a Cleveland federal judge who revoked John Demjanjuk's citizenship.

The judge in 2002 found "clear, unequivocal and convincing evidence" that he served as a guard in concentration camps, the court said.

Mr Demjanjuk, 84, had argued that he was a prisoner of war, not a guard.

His family have vowed to challenge the ruling.

"He is slipping. He's not well," said Ed Nishnic, his son-in-law and family spokesman.

Conviction quashed

The 2002 case was the US Justice Department's second attempt to strip John Demjanjuk - known as Ivan in his homeland - of his citizenship.

Mr Demjanjuk, who gained entry into the United States in 1951 claiming he had spent much of the war as a German prisoner captured in the Crimea from the Soviet army, was first charged with war crimes in 1977.

He first lost his citizenship in 1981, after a court ruled that he had lied about his wartime past.

Mr Demjanjuk, it was said, had worked at the Treblinka concentration camp, in Poland, where he was known as "Ivan the Terrible".

On losing his citizenship, he was extradited to Israel, where he was tried and sentenced to death in 1988.

But his conviction was quashed five years later by the Israeli Supreme Court, after evidence suggested that another Ukrainian was Ivan the Terrible.

Mr Demjanjuk returned to the United States, where judges reprimanded the Justice Department and then restored his citizenship.

The 2002 case ruled there was concrete evidence that he had worked in other Nazis death camps, other than Treblinka.


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