CLEVELAND (AP) – An immigration appeals board ruled Friday that retired autoworker John Demjanjuk can be deported to Germany to face charges that he served as a Nazi death camp guard during World War II.

The board’s denial of an emergency stay of deportation makes it more likely Demjanjuk will soon be sent to face an arrest warrant claiming he was an accessory to some 29,000 deaths at the Sobibor camp in Nazi-occupied Poland in 1943. Once in Germany, he could be formally charged in court.

A German lawyer on Thursday appealed Demjanjuk’s pending arrest and requested that Munich prosecutors provide a copy of the arrest warrant and other documents so he can substantiate the details of the appeal. No action was expected before Tuesday.

Demjanjuk, a native Ukrainian, has denied involvement in any deaths, saying that he was a Russian soldier who was a prisoner of war, held by the Germans. He came to the United States after World War II as a refugee.

The 89-year-old Demjanjuk remained at his home near Cleveland on Friday afternoon. He had filed the U.S. motion to the immigration board in Falls Church, Va., saying that he is in poor health and that being forced to travel to Germany would amount to torture.

He also asked the board to reopen the U.S. case that ordered him deported. The board had not yet ruled on that request.

The U.S. Department of Justice opposed his motions.

In the German appeal, Busch said Demjanjuk is not fit for arrest, travel or trial due to post-traumatic stress disorder and serious illnesses, and that a trial could shorten his life because he has a kidney tumor that requires immediate chemotherapy.

Demjanjuk had been told to expect deportation last Sunday, but it was blocked by an immigration judge’s stay that expired Wednesday.

He first gained U.S. citizenship in 1958. It was revoked in 1981 based on Justice Department allegations that he had served as the notorious Nazi guard “Ivan the Terrible” in Poland at the Treblinka death camp.

He was extradited to Israel in 1986, and two years later he was found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity. He appealed, and Israel’s Supreme Court in 1993 ruled that evidence indicated that Demjanjuk was not Ivan the Terrible and allowed him to return to the United States.

His U.S. citizenship was restored in 1998 but revoked again in 2002. The Justice Department renewed its case, arguing that he had served at Sobibor and other death or forced labor camps. It no longer alleges he was Ivan the Terrible of Treblinka.

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


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