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Germany prosecutors file charges against alleged Nazi guard

[JURIST] German prosecutors on Monday filed charges [press release, in German] against alleged Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk [NNDB profile; JURIST news archive] for being an accessory to murder during World War II. Demjanjuk faces 27,900 accessory counts stemming from his alleged involvement as a guard at the Sobibor [Death Camps backgrounder] concentration camp where more than 260,000 people were executed in gas chambers. The official charges follow a recent determination by German prison medical experts that the elderly Demjanjuk is fit to stand trial. The former Ohio resident was deported in May by the US after exhausting his appeals for a stay and having his objections to extradition rejected [JURIST reports] by a German court. It has been alleged that Demjanjuk volunteered to work at Sobibor [Abendzeitung report, in German] after being captured by German forces while serving a member of the Soviet army.

Demjanjuk's deportation marked the end of a lengthy legal battle [AP timeline] centered around whether his age and health would permit him to stand trial. Prior to his deportation, German prosecutors filed charges [JURIST report] against him in March, alleging 29,000 accessory counts. In 2008, the US Supreme Court [official website] denied certiorari in Demjanjuk v. Mukasey [order, PDF; JURIST report], ending the appeals process for a prior deportation order. Demjanjuk was appealing a 2005 ruling [JURIST report] by then-US Chief Immigration Judge Michael Creppy which ordered his deportation. Demjanjuk had previously lost his appeal to the BIA. In 1988, Demjanjuk was convicted and sentenced to death by an Israeli court, though the sentence was vacated by the Israeli Supreme Court in 1993.

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