Accused Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk has lost a US Supreme Court appeal that sought to block his deportation to his native Ukraine, according to Reuters.
Without comment, the high court refused to hear an appeal by the 88-year-old retired Ohio auto worker that argued the nation`s chief immigration judge lacked the authority to order his deportation.
The rejection of the appeal marked the latest development in a battle between Demjanjuk and the US Justice Department that began in 1977.
The deportation order, issued in 2005, says that Demjanjuk can be sent to Germany or Poland, as an alternative, if Ukraine refuses to accept him.
It appears that no country is willing to take Demjanjuk, either by granting him a visa or to prosecute him for war crimes, according to a former prosecutor in the case.
"I haven`t heard any indication that any country ... is willing to accept a war criminal of John Demjanjuk`s notoriety," Jonathan Drimmer, who is now in private practice, said in a telephone interview.
"He will remain free, pending whatever removal occurs," Drimmer said. "At this point, any country can accept him."
Demjanjuk was once convicted of being the sadistic guard "Ivan the Terrible" and sentenced to death in Israel. But the Israeli Supreme Court overturned the conviction when new evidence showed another man was probably "Ivan" at the Treblinka camp in Poland where 870,000 people died.
Demjanjuk was twice stripped of his US citizenship, the second time in 2002, when a federal judge ruled he had been a guard at three other Nazi death camps in Poland and Germany.
Demjanjuk has argued that Chief US Immigration Judge Michael Creppy did not have the authority to order his deportation. Creppy can only do administrative duties, Demjanjuk`s lawyers said.
Following are five facts about John Demjanjuk, a retired Ohio auto worker who once was convicted and then cleared of being the Nazi concentration camp guard "Ivan the Terrible:"
* Born on April 3, 1920, in Kiev, Ukraine, he said he was drafted into the Russian army in 1941, became a German prisoner of war a year later and served at German prison camps until 1944. He immigrated to the United States in 1951 and became a naturalized citizen in 1958.
* He was stripped of his U.S. citizenship in 1981 and extradited to Israel, where he was sentenced to death in 1988 after Holocaust survivors said he was the notorious guard Ivan at Treblinka where 870,000 people died.
* The Israeli Supreme Court overturned his conviction and death sentence in 1993 and freed him after newly released records from the former Soviet Union showed another man, Ivan Marchenko, was probably the Treblinka guard.
* He returned to his home near Cleveland in 1993 and in 1998 the United States restored his citizenship. But the U.S. Justice Department the following year refiled its case against him, arguing he had worked for the Nazis as a guard at three other death camps and hid the facts when he immigrated.
* A federal judge rescinded his citizenship in 2002 and he was ordered deported in 2005, an order he appealed. But the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected Demjanjuk`s appeal.