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Reno Says Demjanjuk Can Return - Temporarily

By - CompiledDavid Mutch / September 3, 1993



IF accused Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk is freed by Israeli authorities, he won't be blocked from returning to the United States, but he still could be deported later, the Justice Department says.

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``We're not dropping the fight,'' Attorney General Janet Reno said Wednesday. ``We will continue to do everything possible to uphold the court orders denaturalizing and deporting Mr. Demjanjuk.''

The Justice Department originally argued it would have to break the law to comply with a ruling by the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati allowing Demjanjuk to return to appeal his extradition to Israel.

But Ms. Reno said: ``Based on the law and the opportunities to go to the Supreme Court, we have concluded that we cannot seek a stay'' of the appeals court ruling. To persuade the Supreme Court, the Justice Department would have had to show that Demjanjuk's return would cause ``irreparable harm'' to the United States.

Solicitor General Drew Days III, the government's chief courtroom lawyer, made the decision, and Reno concurred.

Demjanjuk, a retired Ohio autoworker, was extradited to Israel in 1986 and convicted there of being Ivan the Terrible, a notorious gas chamber guard at the Treblinka death camp where 850,000 Jews were killed during World War II. The Israeli Supreme Court overturned his conviction and death sentence July 29, citing new evidence from the former Soviet Union.

An Israeli Supreme Court judge yesterday ordered another delay in releasing Demjanjuk pending further study of appeals by Holocaust survivors and Nazi hunters who demand a new war- crimes trial for him in Israel. His original Aug. 1 deportation order has been delayed six times. US-Russian Partnership

The US and Russia are promoting joint space exploration and energy development as they shape a post-cold-war agenda focused on economic cooperation rather than arms control. Wrapping up two days of talks, Vice President Al Gore Jr. and Russian Prime Minister Victor Chernomyrdin on yesterday were signing a series of agreements to promote space exploration and oil and gas development and a separate accord lifting restrictions on certain high-tech exports to Russia. ``We are moving US-Russian relations away from a singular focus on the arms race, which gripped our two nations for so many years, in a new direction toward economic and technological cooperation and true partnership,'' Mr. Gore said Wednesday.