By The Associated Press
After a 30-year international court fight to stay in the U.S., a man accused of concealing a past as a Nazi concentration camp guard could be out of options if a single pending ruling goes against him, his attorney said.
"If we lose it, we're sort of at the end of the road, and the Justice Department is going to try and deport him. That's my guess," said John Broadley, John Demjanjuk's lawyer.
Demjanjuk's case is the second longest Nazi prosecution in the Justice Department's records.
The department first brought charges seeking to revoke Demjanjuk's citizenship and deport him on Aug. 25, 1977. He is now 87.
In July, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals received final briefs on whether the nation's former chief immigration judge, Michael Creppy, had authority to rule in 2005 that Demjanjuk can be deported to the Ukraine, or as an alternative to Germany or Poland.
Broadley's argument is that Creppy was an administrator who should have appointed an immigration judge to hear Demjanjuk's case, rather than handle it himself. Broadley wants Demjanjuk's deportation order tossed out and a whole new hearing held.
The appeals court has not indicated when it will rule.
Creppy had refused to consider Demjanjuk's long-held argument that he was a prisoner of war forced into labor camps, and not a Nazi guard. Creppy relied on a U.S. district judge's decision in 2002 and affirmed on appeal in 2004 that Demjanjuk had been a Nazi guard at Sobibor and other Nazi death or labor camps.
Meanwhile, Demjanjuk and his wife live in a Cleveland suburb with a No Trespass sign in their front yard. Demjanjuk's family has guarded his privacy and consistently denied media attempts to interview him.
"It's very difficult to imagine the pressure and the energy needed to wage this struggle for all these many years, but he's never wavered," said Rev. John Nakonachny, pastor at St. Vladimir's Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral, where Demjanjuk and his wife are parishioners.
Demjanjuk, who born in the Ukraine, was initially accused of having been the sadistic, murderous Nazi guard Ivan the Terrible, notorious for torturing doomed men, women and children as he forced them to gas chambers.
He was extradited to Israel in 1986, eventually convicted of crimes against humanity in a globally watched trial and sentenced to death by hanging. But Israel's Supreme Court overturned the conviction in 1993, largely on evidence from the former Soviet Union that another Ukrainian was the brutal Treblinka guard.
Demjanjuk's U.S. citizenship that was revoked in 1981, was restored in 1998 and revoked again in 2002.
"Getting Demjanjuk finally removed from the United States remains the government's intent," said Eli Rosenbaum, director of the Justice Department's Nazi-hunting Office of Special Investigations.
Rosenbaum refused to say what plans may have been made regarding Demjanjuk's deportation.
We can only send him to a country that will accept him, Rosenbaum said. I would point out, though, that when Demjanjuk was released from prison by the Israeli supreme court in 1993 and was understandably eager to leave Israel, the one country in the world that offered him a visa was the Ukraine.
[W.Z. The last sentence is pure fiction since the Israeli Supreme Court in 1993 ordered the Israeli authorities to deport Mr. Demjanjuk back to the United States. We have noted that over the years the Associated Press has been especially active in publishing Ukrainophobic articles on behalf of the Holocaust Industry.]