Alleged Nazi war criminal deported to Germany

May 12th, 2009 - 12:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, May 12 (DPA) US federal agents were bound for Germany early Tuesday on a chartered plane with an alleged Nazi war criminal who faces charges of complicity in the 1943 murders of 29,000 people during the Holocaust.
The flight left late Monday from Cleveland, Ohio, with John Demjanjuk, 89. Agents had earlier taken him into custody for extradition, placing him into an ambulance outside his suburban home.

After numerous legal delays, the deportation was under way after last week’s refusal by the US Supreme Court to hear Demjanjuk’s appeal to block his removal to Germany.

Washington-based attorney John Broadley, who represents Demjanjuk, could not be immediately reached for comment.

Prosecutors in Munich issued an arrest warrant for him in March, setting off legal steps by the US government to send him to Germany.

Demjanjuk’s attorneys had been able to delay his deportation by arguing in court that he was ill and that transporting him across the Atlantic could pose life-threatening risks to his health.

Lower courts had dismissed the arguments, ruling that the US government was providing adequate health care for the trip.

The plane carrying Demjanjuk to Germany was outfitted with medical equipment, including oxygen and a defibrillator, and a doctor was on board.

German authorities allege that the Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk, then 23, allegedly worked from March-September 1943 as a guard in Nazi-occupied Poland at the Sobibor concentration camp, where at least 29,000 people were executed during that time.

Following World War II, Demjanjuk lived in Germany as a refugee until 1952, when he changed his first name from Ivan to John and moved to the US. He has since been stripped of his US citizenship.

Demjanjuk was acquitted in 1993 by the Israeli Supreme Court of charges that he worked at a different death camp, Treblinka, saving him from the death sentence of a lower court in Israel.

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