Demjanjuk deportation appears nearing

March 25, 2009 at 8:26 AM

CLEVELAND, March 25 (UPI) -- Accused World War II Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk appears closer to being deported from the United States to Germany, observers say.

U.S. immigration officials Tuesday requested German travel documents to be arranged for Demjanjuk, 88, of suburban Cleveland, suggesting his deportation to stand trial in Munich is nearing, The Plain Dealer newspaper in Cleveland reported.

Demjanjuk is facing a German arrest warrant on charges he helped kill 29,000 Jews at the Sobibor death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland during World War II. His son, John Jr., told The Plain Dealer his father is at home in Seven Hills, Ohio, but is seriously ill with kidney and bone diseases and is unlikely to survive a trial.

"It's a shame that the whole process took so long but I'm glad that it has finally begun," Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem, told the newspaper.

The U.S. Supreme Court declined last year to hear Demjanjuk's appeal of a federal immigration judge's 2005 order that he be deported to his native Ukraine, Germany or Poland.

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