Published April 08, 2009
CLEVELAND – The family of John Demjanjuk said Wednesday they still haven't heard from an immigration appeals panel on a request to block his deportation to Germany, where an arrest warrant alleges the frail 89-year-old was a Nazi death camp guard.
The matter is now before the Board of Immigration Appeals, in Falls Church, Va., which previously upheld his deportation.
The Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk is accused in a German arrest warrant of 29,000 counts of acting as an accessory to murder at the Sobibor death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland in 1943. Prosecutors in Munich, Germany, said Demjanjuk will be formally charged in front of a judge there.
He has denied involvement in any deaths, saying that he was a Russian soldier who was a prisoner of war, held by the Germans. He came to the United States after World War II as a refugee.
His son, John Demjanjuk Jr., said the family had not heard whether a request to reopen the case and get an emergency stay of deportation might be approved. He also had not heard from again from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which would handle the deportation.
He said a lawyer in Germany has filed papers there seeking to stop the attempt to bring in Demjanjuk through a U.S. deportation.
"So we have the United States pushing and Germany pulling, and we're doing what we can to stop the inhumane action on both ends," Demjanjuk Jr. said.
Demjanjuk, a retired auto worker from Seven Hills in suburban Cleveland, had been told last week to expect deportation Sunday, but it was blocked by an immigration judge's stay. That stay expired Wednesday.
John Broadley, a lawyer for Demjanjuk, is seeking to stop the deportation due to Demjanjuk's poor health. The motion argues that forcing him to travel to Germany in his condition would be torture.
Demjanjuk has said he suffers severe spinal, hip and leg pain and has a bone marrow disorder, kidney disease, anemia, kidney stones, arthritis, gout and spinal deterioration.
Broadley has submitted a video of a government doctor's examination on Demjanjuk inside his home, saying it offered evidence of his excruciating back pain. Demjanjuk is seen and heard in the video grimacing and moaning as he is maneuvered in or out of bed.