Court Grants Demjanjuk Stay of Deportation

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CBNNews.com - CLEVELAND, Ohio - After U.S. agents removed John Demjanjuk from his Cleveland home on Tuesday, a federal appeals court granted the 89-year-old Nazi death camp guard a stay of deportation to Germany.

Federal agents had been ordered to transport the wheelchair-bound Demjanjuk to a waiting aircraft for an overnight flight to Munich, where he would stand trail as an accessory in the 1943 genocide at the Sobibor death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.

It was unclear whether Demjanjuk would have made the flight by private or commercial jet or whether stopovers were scheduled in the eight- to 10-hour trip.

Attorneys for the former guard said Demjanjuk's medical condition would make deportation the equivalent of torture.

Demjanjuk Jr., who traveled to Cincinnati to file an appeal blocking deportation, told The Associated Press that his father's ailing health make him unfit to travel.

"Given the amount of suffering and death that was meted out by Nazi Germany, it seems inconceivable that the Germans, who nearly killed my father in combat and later in POW camps, now want to take him -- so elderly and weak he is unable to care for himself," he said.

Originally scheduled for deportation on April 5, the court granted Demjanjuk an 11th-hour stay, citing his medical ailments, including kidney failure, anemia and spinal problems, which prevent him from standing or walking unassisted.

Last week, Demjanjuk's attorneys filed an appeal in the federal court in Ohio after the U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals revoked the stay, which would have allowed his deportation.

In March, German prosecutors asked the U.S. to deport Demjanjuk to stand trial for his involvement in the murder of 29,000 Jews.

Kurt Schrimm, Germany's lead investigator of Nazi war crimes, said prosecutors have solid evidence that Demjanjuk had been a guard at the Sobibor death camp, where he personally led Jews to the gas chambers.

Demjanjuk, a retired auto industry worker, says after being drafted into the Russian army in 1941, he was captured by the Germans a year later and served at German prison camps until 1944.

Source: The Associated Press

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