Published April 17, 2009
CLEVELAND – The Justice Department says it wants to clear the way to deport John Demjanjuk to Germany and end what it considers delay tactics.
The government said in a letter released on Friday that it plans to ask a federal appeals court in Ohio to dismiss a stay that on Tuesday stopped the deportation of Demjanjuk a few hours after immigration officers took him from his home.
An arrest warrant in Germany accuses the 89-year-old suburban Cleveland man of a past as a guard in 1943 at the death camp Sobibor in Nazi-occupied Poland.
In a letter to the clerk of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Heyer wrote that the government won't remove Demjanjuk for five days after a dismissal order, up to and including April 30.
The letter didn't explain why that date was mentioned, and Heyer wouldn't comment.
Demjanjuk lawyer John Broadley said Friday that issues raised on his client's behalf are legitimate. Broadley and Demjanjuk's family have said he is seriously ill and might not survive a flight to Germany.
The letter advised that the government "will soon file a formal motion to dismiss the matter."
It adds that Demjanjuk "has engaged in numerous delaying tactics" and that the reason for an emergency stay no longer exists.
The appeals court has given lawyers in the case until Thursday to file briefs, including whether the appeals court has jurisdiction to make any rulings on his deportation. The Board of Immigration Appeals in Falls Church, Virgina, has denied a stay of deportation and a request to reopen his case.
The Ohio court has requested detailed records about Demjanjuk's medical condition.