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Accused war criminal Demjanjuk in Germany

May 12, 2009 at 7:39 AM   |   Comments

MUNICH, Germany, May 12 (UPI) -- Nazi war crime suspect John Demjanjuk arrived in Germany Tuesday to face accusations of crimes he allegedly committed as a death camp guard.

Demjanjuk, 89, is wanted by German authorities for his alleged involvement during World War II at the Nazi death camp at Sobibor, Poland, where some 250,000 people were killed in the camp's 18 months of operation.

His trial will take place in Munich.

Demjanjuk had lived in Cleveland for years before being removed from his home Monday and put on a plane to Germany. The U.S. Supreme Court denied a stay of deportation for Demjanjuk last week, with Justice John Paul Stevens refusing to intervene without comment. Germany's high court also turned aside an appeal.

The native Ukrainian was once accused by the United States and Israel of being a brutal S.S. guard known as "Ivan the Terrible" at the Treblinka camp, and was tried and convicted in an Israeli court. His conviction eventually was overturned.

His son, John Demjanjuk Jr., said his father, beset by bone marrow and kidney diseases, is being pursued doggedly by U.S. and German authorities, The New York Times reported.

"Now at the age of 89, when alleged witnesses are now dead, he's faced with having to defend himself again, when with the pain and suffering he's no longer capable," his son told the Times. "You would have thought that after the mistake they made in nearly sending him to the gallows, they would have just let this go."

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