U.S. court rejects Demjanjuk return

September 01, 1992|By Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON -- A federal appeals court turned down temporarily yesterday a move by retired Ohio autoworker John Demjanjuk's lawyers to guarantee his return to the United States if his war crimes conviction in Israel is overturned.

In a brief order, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati said it had no word from Israel that Demjanjuk would be released at this time, or in the future, and thus the question of his return home was "premature."

Demjanjuk was found guilty and sentenced to hang in Israel for war crimes against Jews held at the Nazi death camp at Treblinka, Poland, in World War II, based on evidence that he was a guard known as "Ivan the Terrible."

The Israeli Supreme Court is reviewing that conviction, amid signs that at least some of its members doubt that Demjanjuk was "Ivan the Terrible."

With that possibility in mind, Demjanjuk's attorneys asked for a court order requiring the State Department to arrange for his re-entry.

The department told the appeals court that letting him return would violate U.S. law because he has been deported for lying on citizenship papers.

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