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wlwt.com | 20Jul2011 | Associated Press

Demjanjuk Case May Come Back To The U.S.
Defendant's Attorneys Claim The Nazi ID Card Is Fake

TOLEDO -- Attorneys for John Demjanjuk want a Cleveland court to set aside the ruling that led to his deportation and conviction on Nazi war crimes charges, so they can bring the decades-old case back to the United States for an appeal.

The retired Ohio autoworker has had his attorneys in a rush to file new important evidence that shows that the FBI in 1985 believed that Nazi ID card that was used to prove Demjanjuk served as a death guard by the prosecutors was really a Soviet-made fake.

"The government has kept these materials hidden from view," said Demjanjuk's attorneys in a motion filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Cleveland.

The Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk has always denied serving as a guard at any Nazi camp after he was captured by the Germans in 1942 while serving for the Soviet Red Army, even after he was convicted in a German court on May 12 of 28,060 counts of accessory to murder.

The motion comes after a federal judge in Cleveland appointed a public defender to represent Demjanjuk and indicated that the lawyer could get Demjanjuk's case back on American soil based on the 1985 FBI report. The judge did add that Demjanjuk should be forced to serve his five-year sentence in Germany though.

Demjanjuk's attorneys are fighting the judge's decision to force Demjanjuk to serve his sentence by trying to prove that the U.S. Justice Department is forming a "Nazi-hunting unit" that is only engaged in "prosecutorial misconduct that seriously misled the court" by withholding evidence.

"How is it, then, that especially after a find of fraud on the court for failture to disclose key information about the true identity of Mr. Demjanjuk, the government still failed to turn over to the defense a recently declassified March 4, 1985 memorandum," Demjanjuk's attorneys said in the motion for a new hearing.

The attorneys added that the FBI report concluded that the American investigators had similar doubts about the Nazi ID card as the defense attorneys and Demjanjuk have always had.