2 Most-Wanted Nazis Won't Face Trial

Alleged war criminal-turned-beekeeper dies in Canada
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 29, 2015 5:37 AM CDT
No Trials for Top 2 Most Wanted Nazi Criminals
In this April 25, 2012, photo, Vladimir Katriuk stands at his honeybee farm in Ormstown, Quebec.   (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press via AP, File)

There were two men at the top of this year's Simon Wiesenthal Center most-wanted Nazi war criminal list—and there is now no chance either one will face a court. No. 2 on the list, Ukrainian-born Vladimir Katriuk, has died in Quebec at the age of 93, the Toronto Star reports. Katriuk, who moved to Canada in 1951 and worked as a beekeeper for more than 50 years, was accused of being a "particularly active participant" in a massacre in what is now Belarus in 1943, when he was a member of an SS battalion that allegedly carried out many atrocities, the Guardian reports. Russia charged Katriuk with genocide last month, but Canadian authorities refused a request to send him to Moscow, citing Russia's actions in Ukraine, reports the Globe and Mail.

Katriuk had long been under suspicion, but the wheels of justice did not move quickly: In 1999, Canadian authorities concluded he had entered the country under false pretenses, but in 2007 a decision to cancel his citizenship was overturned due to lack of evidence, the Star reports. The man at the top of the most-wanted list is also 93 years old. Gerhard Sommer is still alive in a Hamburg-area nursing home, but German prosecutors say they've dropped their investigation because he suffers from dementia and isn't fit to stand trial, the AP reports. In 2005, he was one of 10 former SS officers an Italian court found guilty of taking part in a massacre of 560 civilians in 1944, but German law didn't permit his extradition. (More Canada stories.)

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