US efforts to extradite an alleged Nazi war criminal have entered a new stage. Now the suspect's lawyer is pressing charges against the German govenment.
Demjanjuk does not want to be deported to Germany
The lawyer of the alleged Nazi camp guard John Demjanjuk has taken legal action against the German government in a bid to prevent the 89-year old's deportation from the United States, according to Spiegel Online.
German authorities gave the green light for a Munich-based court to issue an arrest warrant for Demjanjuk on March 11.
However, his lawyer argues that German authorities neglected to file an application for Demjanjuk's extradition and also failed to check whether he was fit enough to travel or stand trial.
Demjanjuk's lawyer maintains that his client is too ill to travel, despite a video filed by prosecutors last week which showed the alleged Nazi guard walking and talking animatedly.
His lawyer said Demjanjuk may be able to walk a few steps unassisted, but that medical evidence showed that arrest, incarceration and a possible trial would cause severe pain.
The US Justice Department accuses Demjanjuk of numerous delaying tactics saying that reasons no longer existed for an emergency stay of deportation. Demjanjuk got an 11th-hour reprieve on April 14 when a federal appeals court in Ohio granted the 89-year old's request for a stay of deportation shortly after he had been carried in a wheelchair out of his home to be taken to a waiting flight.
Demjanjuk is wanted in Germany on charges of aiding the deaths of at least 29,000 Jews in concentration camps in Nazi-occupied Poland during World War II. Demjanjuk says he was a prisoner of war and not a camp guard.
nk/ rm, AFP, dpa, Spiegel Online