Demjanjuk estate wants posthumous U.S. citizenship

THOMAS J. SHEERAN Associated Press Published:

CLEVELAND (AP) -- The estate of a recently deceased Ohio autoworker convicted of Nazi war crimes wants an appeals court to help restore his U.S. citizenship.

The estate of John Demjanjuk of suburban Cleveland, who died March 17 in Germany at age 91, asked the full 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati in a filing late Monday night to take up the case.

A three-judge panel of the court rejected the citizenship bid in June, upholding a judge's ruling last year in Cleveland.

The defense says the American government withheld potentially helpful material. "Fraud is fraud. It does not die" with the death of parties involved, the defense said in its latest filing.

The government argued that the earlier defense filings contained no new information in the matter.

There was no immediate response from the government to the latest appeal. A message was left for the U.S. attorney's office in Cleveland.

The Ukraine-born Demjanjuk lived for decades in Seven Hills before he was convicted by a Munich court on 28,060 counts of being an accessory to murder at the Sobibor death camp in occupied Poland. Demjanjuk, who maintained that he had been mistaken for someone else, died while his conviction was under appeal.

The defense team alleged that Judge Daniel Aaron Polster violated basic fairness by ruling against Demjanjuk's citizenship appeal without holding a hearing on a 1985 secret FBI report uncovered by The Associated Press.

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