Toronto Star | 30Jan2008 | Terry Kinney (Associated Press)

Demjanjuk loses deportation appeal

CINCINNATI A U.S. federal appeals court on Wednesday [30Jan2008] rejected an alleged Nazi death camp guard's challenge to a final deportation order by the nation's chief immigration judge [Michael J. Creppy].

A panel [Names?] of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled there was no basis to John Demjanjuk's challenge of a December 2005 ruling that he could be deported to his native Ukraine or to Germany or Poland.

The government [OSI] initially [falsely] claimed Demjanjuk was the notoriously sadistic guard at the Treblinka camp known as "Ivan the Terrible." Officials [???] later concluded that he was not, but a judge [Paul Matia] ruled in 2002 that documents from World War II prove Demjanjuk was a Nazi guard at various death [?] or forced labor camps[?].

[W.Z. Terry Kinney fails to mention that the Sixth Circuit Court ruled that the Office of Special Investigations (OSI) perpetrated fraud on the court to obtain the 1981 denaturalization and the 1986 extradition of Mr. Demjanjuk to Israel.]

Demjanjuk, 87, lives in the Cleveland suburb of Seven Hills. He has steadfastly denied that he ever helped the Nazis, arguing that he served in the Soviet Army and was captured by Germany in 1942 and became a prisoner of war.

His attorney, John Broadley, said at the time of oral arguments in November that whichever way the decision went, the losing side likely would appeal for a hearing before all the judges of the 6th Circuit or to the U.S. Supreme Court. A message seeking comment was left for Broadley on Wednesday.

The decision is the latest in a lengthy legal fight. The Justice Department first brought charges in 1977 seeking to revoke Demjanjuk's citizenship and to deport him for falsifying information on his applications when entering the U.S. in 1952 and to become a citizen in 1958.

His U.S. citizenship was revoked in 1981, restored in 1998 and revoked again in 2002. He was extradited to Israel in 1986 and was under a death sentence, until Israel's Supreme Court ruled in 1993 that he was not the same man as Ivan.

The current deportation case is based on evidence uncovered by the Justice Department that Demjanjuk was a different guard. That evidence led courts to again strip Demjanjuk of his citizenship on the basis of the original falsified information.

Broadley had argued in briefs filed in July 2007 that Demjanjuk likely would be tortured in Ukraine if sent back there because the U.S. government never sufficiently disavowed its previous claim that Demjanjuk was Ivan. The government contends there is no basis for the argument that Demjanjuk would be tortured.

In his latest attempt to avoid deportation for Demjanjuk, Broadley argued that Michael J. Creppy, the chief immigration judge at the time of the 2005 ruling on a final removal order, was purely an administrative official and not entitled to act as an immigration judge.

The appeals court panel rejected that argument and refused to review Creppy's ruling, which had been upheld by the Board of Immigration Appeals.

"The word 'Chief' does not somehow alter the fundamental meaning of the words 'Immigration Judge' to make this position entirely managerial, as Demjanjuk claims it to be," the court said in the opinion.