US takes steps to deport alleged Nazi to Germany

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The U.S. government said Tuesday it is asking German officials for travel documents needed to deport accused World War II Nazi guard John Demjanjuk, who is charged in Europe with 29,000 counts of accessory to murder. Immigration and Customs Enforcement provided an e-mail to The Associated Press showing that it has contacted the German government in its effort to deport Demjanjuk, once accused but ultimately cleared of being a notorious guard at the Treblinka concentration camp in occupied Poland.

The 88-year-old suburban Cleveland man was charged in Germany in March with crimes while working as a guard at Sobibor, a Nazi death camp in Poland.

His son, John Demjanjuk Jr., said Tuesday that his father remains at home and is not in federal custody.

Prosecutors in Munich, Germany, said Demjanjuk (pronounced dem-YAHN'-yuk) will be formally charged in front of a judge once he is extradited.

Kurt Schrimm, head of the special German prosecutors' office that has hunted Nazis since 1958 and who asked Munich prosecutors to pursue Demjanjuk's extradition, declined to comment Tuesday.

Efraim Zuroff, the top Nazi hunter at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Los Angeles-based human rights organization, welcomed the development.

"We're very pleased that these steps are being taken to facilitate Demjanjuk's extradition to Germany so that he can be tried and can be given an appropriate punishment for his heinous crimes during World War II," Zuroff told The Associated Press by phone from Jerusalem.

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