Sawoniuk `ignored pleas for mercy'

Click to follow
The Independent Online
A CHILDHOOD acquaintance of Anthony Sawoniuk, the defendant in Britain's first war crimes trial, yesterday claimed he saw him force a family towards sandhills where just days before 2,900 Jews had been murdered in Belarus.

Ivan Baglay, 71, told the Old Bailey that after the Nazis massacred thousands of Jews on the festival of Yom Kippur in 1942, he watched as Mr Sawoniuk ignored a cobbler who was pleading for his life. Mr Baglay said the group was walking in the direction of the sandhills. He never saw the family again.

Mr Sawoniuk, from south London, is accused of murdering up to 20 Jews while serving as a police officer in Domachevo in Nazi-occupied Belarus between 1941-1944. He denies all the charges.

The trial continues.