Court rejects appeal for Demjanjuk citizenship

The defense contends the US government withheld potentially helpful material

CINCINNATI (AP) — An effort to posthumously restore the US citizenship of a former Ohio autoworker who died while appealing his conviction of Nazi war crimes has been dismissed.

Ukrainian-born John Demjanjuk (dem-YAHN’-yuk) lived in suburban Cleveland. He was convicted in Germany on 28,060 counts of accessory to murder on allegations he served as a guard at the Sobibor death camp in occupied Poland.

He denied serving as a guard in any camp, and died in March at age 91 while appealing. Because he died before his appeal could be heard, the conviction is not considered legally binding according to German law.

But a three-judge panel of the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati rejected the citizenship bid filed by his estate in June, upholding a judge’s ruling in Cleveland. The panel said Demjanjuk’s death made the case moot.

The Demjanjuk defense team’s request to the full court to take up the case was denied. The court filed the dismissal Tuesday.

The defense contended the US government withheld potentially helpful material. The defense hasn’t returned a message left Wednesday seeking comment.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press

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