[JURIST] German prosecutors announced Wednesday that they have filed charges against former Nazi concentration camp guard and Ohio resident John Demjanjuk [NNDB profile; JURIST news archive]. Demjanjuk is charged with 29,000 counts of accessory to murder [AP report] for his alleged involvement at the Sobibor [Death Camps backgrounder] concentration camp, where more than 260,000 people were executed in the gas chambers. A former Soviet solider, Demanjuk is accused of volunteering to work at Sobidor [Abendzeitung report, in German] following his capture by Germans. He allegedly worked at Sobidor for much of its existence, from March to September 1943. The German government will now seek Demanjuk's extradition from the US.
Demjanjuk has fought a lengthy legal battle over his alleged involvement with Nazi death camps during World War II. In May 2008, the US Supreme Court denied certiorari in Demjanjuk v. Mukasey [order, PDF; JURIST report], ending the appeals process for his deportation order. Demajanjuk was appealing a 2005 ruling [JURIST report] by then-US Chief Immigration Judge Michael Creppy ordering his deportation. Demjanjuk had previously lost an appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals [DOJ backgrounder]. The US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals denied Demjanjuk's petition for review [PDF text] in January 2008. In 1988, Demjanjuk was convicted and sentenced to death by an Israeli court which found that he was a notorious guard from Treblinka nicknamed "Ivan the Terrible." The sentence was vacated by the Israeli Supreme Court in 1993, and Demjanjuk returned to the US.