AFP - Former Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk was taken from his Ohio home Monday for deportation to Germany where he faces charges of helping murder 29,000 Jews in World War II.
Demjanjuk, 89, was carried from his home on a stretcher and driven away in a private ambulance. Official sources said he would be placed aboard a Munich-bound flight from Cleveland's Burke Lakefront Airport later in the day.
The air ambulance flight was scheduled to leave Cleveland around 7:20 pm (2320 GMT), sources told AFP earlier.
A German official said Demjanjuk was expected in Germany on Tuesday.
"We assume, from what we know at the moment, that he will probably arrive in Germany tomorrow," justice ministry spokesman Ulrich Staubigl told AFP.
Two priests were seen visiting Demjanjuk's home on Monday morning and several members of his family had also arrived.
John Demjanjuk's expected deportation to Germany will mark the end of months of legal wrangling.
Arguing that the 89-year-old is too ill to travel, his family sought to stay his deportation through a host of appeals, culminating Thursday in a failed bid to the US Supreme Court.
The younger Demjanjuk expressed his frustration in an e-mailed statement.
"Given the history of this case and not a shred of evidence that he ever hurt one person let alone murdered anyone anywhere, this is inhuman even if the courts have said it is lawful," John Demjanjuk Jr wrote Monday.
"This is not justice, it is a vendetta in the falsified name of justice with the hope that somehow Germany will atone for its past."
Born in Ukraine in 1920, Demjanjuk was a soldier in the Red Army when he was captured by the Nazis in the spring of 1942.
He was trained at Treblinka in Nazi-occupied Poland and served two years in the Sobibor and Majdanek camps, also in occupied Poland, and in Flossenburg in Bavaria, southern Germany, court filings showed.
Demjanjuk has always insisted that he was forced to work for the Nazis and had been mistaken by survivors for other cruel guards.
He immigrated to the United States in 1952 with his family, settling in Ohio, where he found work in the auto industry and changed his name from Ivan to John.
Condemned to death in Israel in 1988 after he was convicted of being the sadistic Nazi guard nicknamed "Ivan the Terrible," the verdict was overturned by the Israeli Supreme Court because of doubts about his identity.
He was returned to the United States over strenuous objections from Holocaust survivors and Jewish groups, who argued there was sufficient evidence that he served as a death camp guard to warrant another trial.
Demjanjuk regained his US citizenship, which was first stripped in 1981, after an appeals court ruled in 1998 that the US government recklessly withheld exculpatory evidence.
The US government filed new charges a year later using fresh evidence that surfaced following the collapse of the Soviet Union, and he was again stripped of his US citizenship in 2002.
Germany issued a warrant for Demjanjuk's arrest on March 11 on charges of assisting in the murder of 29,000 Jews at Sobibor.