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U.S. JUDGE SAYS EVIDENCE CASTS DOUBT ON IDENTITY OF NAZI GUARD

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Evidence from the former Soviet Union casts doubt on whether John Demjanjuk is "Ivan the Terrible," a Nazi guard who executed Jews at the infamous Treblinka death camp, said a judge who investigated the case.

But U.S. District Judge Thomas A. Wiseman Jr. upheld Demjan-juk's 1986 deportation to Israel. Wiseman said evidence supports allegations that Demjanjuk served at the Trawniki camp in Poland, where the Nazis trained death camp guards.Former guards at Treblinka and others have identified a man named Ivan Marchenko as "Ivan the Terrible," Wiseman said.

Demjanjuk, 72, is a Ukrainian who came to the United States in 1952 and settled in suburban Cleveland. He was convicted in 1988 in Israel of war crimes and sentenced to death. He has appealed the conviction.

According to Israeli news reports, the Israeli Supreme Court is to rule on his appeal in mid-July.

Ed Nishnic, Demjanjuk's son-in-law, said Demjanjuk's family was encouraged by Wiseman's report on Wednesday.

"This is the first time in 16 years that anyone other than the family has even suggested that there's considerable doubt that Mr. Demjanjuk is Ivan the Terrible," Nishnic said.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reopened the case in June 1992, after it had refused to block Demjanjuk's extradition to Israel.

Three appeals judges concerned about reports that Demjanjuk might not be the right man appointed Wiseman, of Nashville, Tenn., as special master to investigate whether the Justice Department withheld evidence that could have been used to defend Dem-jan-juk.

Wiseman's 10-month investigation concluded that government prosecutors withheld some information or provided some misleading evidence to Demjanjuk's defense and the federal courts.