Demjanjuk offers no clues to possible surrender

SEVEN HILLS, Ohio (AP) -- Possibly days away from his deportation to Germany, suspected Nazi guard John Demjanjuk and his family are offering no clues about the 89-year-old's response to a government notice asking that he surrender to U.S. immigration authorities. All appeared quiet at Demjanjuk's home in the Cleveland suburb of Seven Hills as his wife tended to her lilac bush and an unidentified man visited Saturday, one day after Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers delivered the notice. It is the most recent development in a complex 32-year case linking Demjanjuk (pronounced dem-YAHN'-yuk) to World War II atrocities. An arrest warrant in Munich accuses the native Ukrainian of 29,000 counts of accessory to murder at Sobibor in Nazi-occupied Poland, one of the infamous, horrific sites of the Holocaust. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens had refused Thursday, without comment, to deal with the case. Demjanjuk's son, John Demjanjuk Jr., said there are no plans to appeal to another Supreme Court justice. He said such a move might be seen as a delay tactic, a claim made by the U.S. government about other Demjanjuk appeals. Demjanjuk Jr. said the family is seeking justice, not delay. They have argued in court that Demjanjuk is extremely ill and that his deportation would amount to torture. Last month, immigration officers carried Demjanjuk out of his home in a wheelchair but released him within hours when a federal appeals court issued a stay of deportation that was later denied. The younger Demjanjuk did not say how his father would respond to the Friday's notice or whether the government set a deadline for surrender. A Cleveland immigration attorney not connected to the case, David Leopold, predicted the surrender time would come by Monday. Anyone subject to a deportation order would be considered a fugitive if he failed to surrender by the stated time, according to Julie Myers, assistant secretary of Immigration and Customs Enforcement during part of the Bush administration. Demjanjuk already has lived past one death sentence. In the late 1980s, he was tried in Israel as a notorious Nazi guard and sentenced to die by hanging, but that conviction was overturned. He has said that he was a Soviet soldier held by the Germans as a prisoner of war.


Associated Press writers David Rising in Berlin, Eileen Sullivan in Washington and Thomas J. Sheeran in Cleveland contributed to this report

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