Sunday, April 15, 2012

Demjanjuk lawyers raise citizenship issue

Sarah Haselop, associate attorney at the San Francisco family law firm Heath-Newton LLP, was honored by the UC Hastings Center for Gender and Refugee Studies (CGRS) on Wednesday, April 10 for her pro bono work on the San Francisco Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights' (LCCR) asylum program.

For four years, Haselop has provided pro bono legal representation to individuals seeking refuge in the United States. She has provided direct representation in many cases involving gender-based violence against women in their country of origin.

"The United States is, and always has been, a safe harbor for individuals who have found the strength and courage to leave everything behind their home countries to find a new and better life for themselves," says Haselop. "It is my deep honor to help these brave people."

In addition to her counsel, Haselop has helped mentor fellow attorneys and conducted intake interviews for the LCCR. Due to the nature of her client's claims, Sarah has worked with the CGRS at UC Hastings College of Law, which has been instrumental in providing the resources to create legal argument and identify case precedents in asylum law.

A recently deceased Ohio autoworker convicted of Nazi war crimes should have his U.S. citizenship restored because the American government withheld potentially helpful material, his attorneys said.

The defense team for John Demjanjuk, who died March 17 in Germany at age 91, asked the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati to restore his citizenship or order a hearing on the case.

The filing late Thursday night said U.S. District Judge Dan Polster in Cleveland erred last year in refusing to reopen the citizenship case at Demjanjuk's request.

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

A political leader in the Ukraine told The Associated Press that Demjanjuk's body was returned to the U.S. for burial. Rostislav Novozhenets, deputy head of the nationalist Ukrainian Republican Party, said in a telephone interview that Demjanjuk was buried March 31 at an undisclosed location. Family members living nearby will care for the gravesite, Novozhenets said.

Dennis Terez, a public defender representing Demjanjuk, said Friday he couldn't comment on where Demjanjuk was buried.

Prosecutors have until next month to file a response to the citizenship issue, Terez said. The defense will then get a chance to reply.

The government rejected the defense's arguments.

"In a reasoned and meticulously supported decision, Judge Polster rejected these same contentions by Mr. Demjanjuk's lawyers," spokesman Mike Tobin, of the U.S. attorney's office in Cleveland, said in an email.

By The Associated Press

Source: The Youngstown Vindicator

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