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Accused Nazi loses court bid

A MAN accused of being a guard at a Nazi death camp lost a bid on Thursday for the United States Supreme Court to stop his deportation to Germany, where he faces charges over the deaths of 29,000 Jews.

US Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens rejected a request from John Demjanjuk, an 89-year-old retired Ohio auto worker, for a stay of deportation while he pursues legal appeals.

It was not known what other legal steps Demjanjuk's lawyer might take to try to stop the deportation, the subject of a legal battle with the US Justice Department that has lasted decades.

His lawyer could ask another Supreme Court justice for a stay.

A Justice Department spokeswoman said the US government will continue to work in cooperation with Germany to carry out the deportation but declined to provide details "on any possible timing of a potential removal."

A US appeals court in Ohio had cleared the way on May 1 for Demjanjuk's deportation, lifting a stay that had halted his removal at the last minute two weeks earlier, after US agents had taken him from his suburban Cleveland home in a wheelchair.

Prosecutors in Munich, Germany, have issued an arrest warrant to put the Ukraine-born Demjanjuk on trial for assisting in the deaths of 29,000 Jews at the Sobibor extermination camp during World War II.

The appeals court said the argument that sending Demjanjuk to Germany amounted to torture was unlikely to succeed and lifted the stay.

In seeking a stay of deportation from the Supreme Court, Demjanjuk's lawyer said his client suffered from "a number of physical ailments that present real and immediate risks to his life."

Demjanjuk denies any role in the Holocaust, claiming he was drafted into the Russian army in 1941, became a German prisoner of war in 1942 and served at prison camps until 1944.


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