Demjanjuk asks judge to reconsider citizenship bid

AP News
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Posted: Jan 06, 2012 2:31 PM
Demjanjuk asks judge to reconsider citizenship bid

Convicted Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk wants a federal judge to reconsider a decision denying his bid to regain his U.S. citizenship.

U.S. District Judge Dan Aaron Polster rejected the retired autoworker's citizenship claim just over two weeks ago, saying Demjanjuk lied about where he was during World War II.

Demjanjuk's attorney asked the judge Thursday to reconsider the citizenship request, saying he had not seen all the newly discovered documents that could help his cause.

Demjanjuk was convicted by a German court that found he had served as a guard at the Nazis' Sobibor death camp in occupied Poland. He was sentenced to five years in prison.

Demjanjuk, who's in his 90s, has been in poor health for years and has been in and out of a hospital since his conviction.

His lawyers argued that the government failed to disclose important evidence, including a 1985 secret FBI report uncovered by The Associated Press that indicates the FBI believed a Nazi ID card purportedly showing that he served as a death camp guard was a Soviet-made fake.

Federal authorities had said Demjanjuk, who has denied serving as a guard at any Nazi camp and is free on bail, was trying to cast himself as a victim following his conviction in Germany on more than 28,000 counts of accessory to murder.

Demjanjuk's public defender, Dennis Terez, said in the latest filing that the judge should give him the chance to question the government's claims and ask what caused a retired FBI agent to become suspicious of documents released by the Soviet Union.

In a response to the original defense citizenship filing, the government included an affidavit from former FBI agent Thomas Martin who said the March 4, 1985, report written by him was based on speculation about a Soviet forgery, not any investigation.

The Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk was a Soviet Red Army soldier captured by the Germans in 1942. The German court found he agreed to serve the Nazis as a guard at Sobibor.

Demjanjuk cannot leave Germany because he has no passport after being stripped of his U.S. citizenship ahead of his deportation to Germany in 2009. He could have gotten a U.S. passport if the denaturalization ruling had been overturned.