Demjanjuk deportation still on hold

April 16, 2009 at 7:12 PM

CLEVELAND, April 16 (UPI) -- U.S. immigration officials Thursday denied John Demjanjuk's bid to live out his days in Ohio while a federal court considered whether to block his deportation.

The U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals rejected Demjanjuk's request that he be permitted to stay in Ohio, where he has lived since going to work in an auto plant near Cleveland in the 1950s. However, a federal appeals court in Cincinnati asked prosecutors to submit a copy of a doctor's report that found the 89-year-old accused war criminal is healthy enough to be deported, The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.

The court asked Demjanjuk's lawyers to explain why it has jurisdiction over his fate.

Demjanjuk got a reprieve Tuesday when the appeals court temporarily blocked his deportation a few hours before he was to be put on a flight to Munich. He faces trial in Germany for allegedly participating in the killing of 29,000 Jews at the Sobibor concentration camp in Poland.

Demjanjuk's family argues that his frail health makes deporting him torture.

Born in Ukraine, Demjanjuk says he served in the Soviet Army in World War II and was taken prisoner. U.S. prosecutors say he was a Nazi concentration camp guard.

Demjanjuk has been fighting to remain in the country since 1977.

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