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US immigration judge revokes accused Nazi guard deportation stay

[JURIST] A US immigration judge on Monday revoked a stay of deportation issued Friday for accused Nazi prison camp guard John Demjanjuk [NNDB profile; JURIST news archive]. The stay had been ordered Friday [AP report] after Demjanjuk filed a motion to reopen his case. On Monday, the judge ruled [AFP report] that the stay had been ordered in error and revoked it, saying that the motion to reopen the case should have been filed with the Board of Immigration Appeals [DOJ backgrounder]. Demjanjuk was recently charged with 29,000 counts of accessory to murder [JURIST report] by German prosecutors for his alleged involvement at the Sobibor [Death Camps backgrounder] concentration camp. The stay of deportation ordered on Friday suspended his deportation to Germany pending an appeal of the original case that ordered his expulsion from the US. Demjanjuk's lawyers had argued that deportation would subject Demjanjuk to mental and physical pain that would amount to torture because of his deteriorating health and Germany's intent to place him in prison. Last week, a German official denied [JURIST report] that deporting Demjanjuk to Germany to face trial was equivalent to torture.

Demjanjuk has fought a lengthy legal battle over his alleged involvement with Nazi death camps during World War II. In May, the US Supreme Court denied certiorari in Demjanjuk v. Mukasey [order, PDF; JURIST report], ending the appeals process for his deportation order. Demjanjuk 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 BIA. The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit denied Demjanjuk's petition for review [text, PDF] 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.

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