War crimes case 'has British link'

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The Independent Online
MORE THAN 30 Lithuanians now known to be living in Britain served in the same company as a man indicted for war crimes in the United States last month, the Department of Justice in Washington said yesterday.

The Independent revealed yesterday that 80 former members of the 12th police battalion, a unit used by Germans to exterminate thousands of Jews, had entered Britain in 1946 with the Free Polish forces promised a safe haven from communism by Churchill.

The men now in Britain can be investigated under the War Crimes Act, passed last year to extend jurisdiction for war crimes.

The Justice Department's indictment alleges that Antanas Mineikis, 74, emigrated from Britain to the US in 1956 soon after being given British nationality, and failed to tell the immigration authorities that he had served in the Lithuanian battalion.

Military records in the Polish military archive at the Sikorski Institute in London include a list of 159 members of the Lithuanian Company of the 2nd Polish Commando, 80 of whom came to Britain in 1946. These include Mr Mineikis, 74, now living in South Pasadena, Florida. Another man on the list was being investigated when he died.

The indictment against Mr Mineikis says that during the German occupation of Lithuania, he joined what became the 12th police battalion, one of the armed units of local men known as the Schutzmannshaften, which were sponsored and controlled by the Nazis. 'As a member of the Lithuanian Schutzmannshaft, (he) assisted in the murder and other persecution of Jews and other unarmed persons in Byelorussia,' the indictment says.

The Justice Department wants to deport Mr Mineikis to an unspecified country for misrepresenting facts on his immigration declaration.