Appeals Court Sets Arguments in War Crimes Deportation Case

United Press International

The U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals agreed Tuesday to hear the plea of a Long Island man ordered deported to the Soviet Union to face a death sentence for Nazi activity during World War II.

The appeals court set oral arguments in the case for April 1.

The panel earlier had issued a stay of the deportation of Karl Linnas, 67, of Greenlawn, N.Y., to the Soviet Union, where he has been sentenced to death for allegedly running the notorious Tartu concentration camp in Estonia.

12,000 Killed

About 12,000 people were killed in the camp during World War II.

U.S. Atty. Rudolph Giuliani on Friday filed a document to support the Immigration and Naturalization Service's motion to have the stay lifted and Linnas deported. The federal document said Linnas' efforts to avoid deportation already had been rejected by several courts and were entitled to no further consideration.

Linnas, a land surveyor, was accused of direct involvement in the arrest and execution of 400 men, women and children, both Jews and non-Jews, in 1941. It was alleged the victims were shot as they stood at the edge of a mass grave.

Sentenced to Death

In 1962, Linnas was tried in absentia in the Soviet Union for war crimes and was sentenced to death. Linnas came to the United States with his wife and two daughters in 1951 and became a citizen in 1960.

In 1978 the Justice Department began proceedings to revoke Linnas' citizenship, charging he had purposefully hidden his role as a guard at the concentration camp and therefore had fraudulently become a citizen.

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