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Germany issues arrest warrant for Sobibor's 'Ivan the Terrible'

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Germany issues arrest warrant for Sobibor's 'Ivan the Terrible'
Photo:DPA
15:20 CET+01:00
German authorities issued an arrest warrant on Wednesday for John Demjanjuk, 88, the alleged Nazi war criminal ‘Ivan the Terrible' suspected of killing tens of thousands of Jews in a World War II death camp.

“The accused is currently still in the United States,” a court official said in a statement. “As soon as he arrives in Germany he will be questioned and tried.”

A spokesman for the Justice Ministry told The Local, “We are looking at how this arrest warrant can be carried out. As to how, or when, I cannot say.”

If the US authorities do not expel Demjanjuk, a formal extradition request will be made.

Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk, now living in the United States, is thought to have assisted in the deaths of at least 29,000 Jews during his time in a Nazi concentration camp in Sobibor.

Demjanjuk, one of the world's most wanted Nazi war criminals, emigrated to the US in 1950 but was extradited to Israel in 1986 after being accused of being the infamous ‘Ivan the Terrible.'

Sentenced to death in 1988 in Israel, he was released in August 1993 when Israeli judges dropped the case against him after statements by former guards collected by the KGB suggested another man was the infamous ‘Ivan the Terrible'.

Demjanjuk then returned to the city of Cleveland in the US state of Ohio where he has been living under house arrest conditions.

Six years later, the case against him was revived as evidence emerged that he had worked for the Nazis as a guard at three other death camps. He is still on a Simon Wiesenthal Centre list of the most wanted Nazi war criminals still alive.

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