Page last updated at 20:37 GMT, Thursday, 7 May 2009 21:37 UK

US court rejects Demjanjuk plea

John Demjanjuk
John Demjanjuk denies the charges against him

A US Supreme Court judge has rejected a bid by alleged Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk to block his deportation to Germany for trial.

The 89-year-old Ohio resident had argued that he was too ill to be moved.

But Justice John Paul Stevens turned down his request to intervene in the case.

Mr Demjanjuk denies charges of being a guard at the Sobibor death camp in World War II and an accessory in the deaths of 29,000 Jews.

He says he was captured by the Germans in his native Ukraine during the war and kept as a prisoner of war.

1952: Gains entry into the US, claiming he spent most of the war as a German prisoner
1977: First charged with war crimes, accused of being "Ivan the Terrible"
1981: Stripped of US citizenship
1986: Extradited to Israel
1993: Israeli Supreme Court overturns conviction, ruling that he is not Ivan the Terrible
2002: Loses US citizenship after a judge said there was proof he worked at Nazi camps
2005: A judge rules in favour of deportation to his native Ukraine
2009: Germany issues an arrest warrant for him; US immigration agents seize him at his home but later release him

In March, German prosecutors filed charges against Mr Demjanjuk and issued a warrant for his arrest.

US federal agents briefly removed him from his home in April, but a stay of deportation was granted after his family said he was too ill to be moved.

A three-judge panel from the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Ohio then ruled that the removal could go ahead, saying it was satisfied that Mr Demjanjuk would be provided with adequate care.

Mr Demjanjuk could now appeal against Justice Stevens' ruling to the full Supreme Court or ask another justice for a stay, media reports said.

Lawyers for Mr Demjanjuk have also launched an appeal in Germany, arguing that it should retract its extradition request on humanitarian grounds.

Camp guard

Mr Demjanjuk arrived in the US in 1952 as a refugee, settling in Cleveland, Ohio, where he worked in the car industry.

In 1988 he was sentenced to death in Israel for crimes against humanity after Holocaust survivors identified him as the notorious "Ivan the Terrible", a guard at the Treblinka death camp.

But Israel's highest court later overturned his sentence, after documents from the former Soviet Union indicated that "Ivan the Terrible" had probably been a different man.

Mr Demjanjuk returned to the US, but in 2002 had his US citizenship stripped because of his failure to disclose his work at Nazi camps when he first arrived as a refugee.

In 2005, a US immigration judge ruled that he could be deported to Germany, Poland or Ukraine.

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