updated 1/30/2008 11:56:30 AM ET 2008-01-30T16:56:30

A federal appeals court on Wednesday rejected an alleged Nazi death camp guard's challenge to a final deportation order by the nation's chief immigration judge.

A panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled there was no basis to John Demjanjuk's challenge of a December 2005 ruling that he could be deported to his native Ukraine or to Germany or Poland.

The government initially claimed Demjanjuk was the notoriously sadistic guard at the Treblinka camp known as "Ivan the Terrible." Officials later concluded that he was not, but a judge ruled in 2002 that documents from World War II prove Demjanjuk was a Nazi guard at various death or forced labor camps.

Demjanjuk, 87, lives in the Cleveland suburb of Seven Hills. He has steadfastly denied that he ever helped the Nazis, arguing that he served in the Soviet Army and was captured by Germany in 1942 and became a prisoner of war.

The Justice Department first brought charges seeking to revoke Demjanjuk’s citizenship — for allegedly falsifying information on his applications when entering the U.S. in 1952 and to become a citizen in 1958 — and to deport him in 1977.

Demjanjuk’s U.S. citizenship was revoked in 1981, restored in 1998 and revoked again in 2002.

He was extradited to Israel in 1986 and was under a death sentence, until Israel’s Supreme Court ruled in 1993 that he was not the same man as the guard known as Ivan.

Demjanjuk returned home and his U.S. citizenship was restored. The current deportation case is based on evidence uncovered by the Justice Department alleging he was a different guard. That evidence led courts to again strip Demjanjuk of his citizenship — on the basis of the original falsified information charge.

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