By Marista Lane
Judges at a circuit court of appeals in Ohio granted suspected Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk a stay of removal late Tuesday night after his attorneys claimed that removing him from the United States would be harmful to his health.
CNN says Demjanjuk, who suffers from pre-leukemia, kidney problems, spinal problems and “a couple of types of gout,” according to his attorney, was going to be deported after the German government issued an arrest warrant on March 10 for “being an accessory to 29,000 counts of murder as a guard at Sobibor from March to September 1943.”
Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center is quoted as saying that “[Demjanjuk] wants to plead the sense of fairness that he regularly denied all of the victims at Sobibor.” Hier says the justifications for the stay of removal are “preposterous coming from a person that served the S.S. in a death camp. It is a preposterous argument and insulting to the survivors of the Holocaust.”
The United States government filed charges against Demjanjuk in 1999 for his alleged history as a concentration camp guard, and stripped him of his U.S. citizenship. Although the U.S. has been awaiting his deportation since 2005, Demjanjuk has successfully delayed the process via a series of appeals.