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U.S. immigration board rejects Demjanjuk appeal

A U.S. immigration appeals board on Friday rejected a last-minute stay of deportation for accused Nazi guard John Demjanjuk, paving the way for him to face charges in Germany.

A U.S. immigration appeals board on Friday rejected a last-minute stay of deportation for accused Nazi guard John Demjanjuk, paving the way for him to face charges in Germany.

Demjanjuk's son, John Demjanjuk Jr., said the family could launch an appeal before the end of the day.

German officials have charged Demjanjuk with more than 29,000 counts of accessory to murder for his time as a guard at the Sobibor camp in Nazi-occupied Poland in 1943.

They have issed an arrest warrant for the 89-year-old retired autoworker.

But Demjanjuk, a native Ukrainian, had appealed to the U.S. immigration board for an emergency stay of deportation. He says he is in poor health, including having severe spinal, hip and leg pain, a bone marrow disorder, kidney disease, anemia, kidney stones, arthritis, gout and spinal deterioration.

Being forced to travel to Germany would amount to torture, he argued.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Pat Reilly would say only that officials would "remove him when the time is appropriate."

The U.S. Justice Department had alleged Demjanjuk, who received American citizenship in 1958, acted as the notorious Nazi guard Ivan the Terrible at the Treblinka death camp.

He was extradited to Israel in 1986, and two years later was found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity. He appealed, and Israel's Supreme Court in 1993 ruled that evidence indicated Demjanjuk was not Ivan the Terrible and allowed him to return to the U.S.

His U.S. citizenship was restored in 1998 but revoked again in 2002. The Justice Department renewed its case, arguing he had served at Sobibor and other death or forced labour camps. It no longer alleges he was Ivan the Terrible.

With files from the Associated Press