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U.S. judge weighs case of alleged ex-Nazi guard

The chief U.S. immigration judge was scheduled to consider a court filing from an accused former Nazi guard who says not be deported because he could face torture in his native Ukraine.
John Demjanjuk, seen here in a photo from last February, is accused by the Justice Department of being a Nazi guard at a concentration camp during World War II. Mark Duncan / AP file
/ Source: The Associated Press

A man accused of being a Nazi concentration camp guard during World War II says he should not be deported because he could face torture in his native Ukraine.

The nation’s chief immigration judge was scheduled to consider the court filing from John Demjanjuk at a hearing Tuesday. Demjanjuk lost his citizenship based on a Justice Department case against him.

“Mr. Demjanjuk’s case makes him a high-profile candidate for mistreatment” if he is returned to the Ukraine, his attorney, John Broadley, said Monday.

However, the government argued in court documents that Demjanjuk has not shown that he is likely to be prosecuted, detained or tortured if he is deported.

The hearing before Chief Immigration Judge Michael J. Creppy is part of a process to determine whether Demjanjuk, 85, will be deported. Demjanjuk last appeared before Creppy in a videoconference hearing Feb. 28.

Mistakenly ID'd as 'Ivan the Terrible'
The United States first tried to deport Demjanjuk in 1977, accusing him of being a notorious guard known as Ivan the Terrible at the Treblinka concentration camp.

Demjanjuk was extradited to Israel, convicted and sentenced to hang. But the Israeli Supreme Court found that someone else was apparently that guard.

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.

Demjanjuk has denied the government’s allegations.

The Justice Department has suggested the judge consider deporting Demjanjuk to Ukraine, Poland or Germany. Broadley said there is no indication another country would be willing to accept him.

Broadley said the question of whether Demjanjuk can be deported will eventually be considered by the Board of Immigration Appeals.

Demjanjuk, a former Ford Motor Co. auto worker, is in poor health, which the government should consider, Broadley said.