Washington Post | 19May2008 | Pete Yost

Court rejects case involving alleged Nazi guard

WASHINGTON -- The Justice Department said Monday that an alleged former Nazi death camp guard has exhausted all legal avenues for trying to remain in the United States and the government remains committed to deporting him.

The department commented after the Supreme Court refused to step into the case of 88-year-old John Demjanjuk, who lives in the Cleveland suburb of Seven Hills.

A 2005 deportation order would send Demjanjuk to Germany, Poland or his native Ukraine. But the Justice Department has not indicated if those nations are willing to accept him.

Demjanjuk lives a secluded life in a modest, ranch-style house in a residential neighborhood with his wife, Vera. They keep a no-trespassing sign in their front yard.

Their son, John Demjanjuk Jr., said Monday the family has no comment. He declined a request asking to speak directly with his father.

A message seeking comment was left for Demjanjuk's lawyer John Broadley.

A judge ruled in 2002 that documents from World War II prove Demjanjuk was a Nazi guard at various death or forced-labor camps.

In January, a three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati rejected Demjanjuk's challenge to the deportation order. Demjanjuk's attorney had argued that the chief immigration judge who issued the order was just an administrative official and not entitled to act as an immigration judge.

On Monday, Demjanjuk's name was on a list of petitioners to the Supreme Court who were unsuccessful in getting the justices to hear their cases.

Demjanjuk contends that he served in the Soviet Army, was captured by Germany in 1942 and became a prisoner of war.

In 1986, Demjanjuk was extradited to Israel and sentenced to death there after being found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity. In 1993, Israel's Supreme Court ruled that Demjanjuk was not "Ivan the Terrible," leading to his release from prison.

He returned to the United States and the Justice Department again sought to revoke his citizenship, alleging that although not "Ivan the Terrible," Demjanjuk had been a guard at Nazi death and forced-labor camps.

The case is Demjanjuk v. Mukasey, 07-10487.

Associated Press writer M.R. Kropko in Cleveland contributed to this report.