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McLellan   Letter 04   30-Dec-1997   Shot in the chest
December 30, 1997


The Honourable Anne McLellan, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Room 360, Justice Building
239 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0H8

E-mail: [email protected]


Dear Ms. McLellan:

In my letter to you of Dec 19/97, I asked you to apprise law-enforcement agencies of the possibility that when Canadian justice fails to deliver the results that Jewish groups are demanding, they might take the law into their own hands.  Below I reproduce an article which indicates the possibility that such vigilante action may occur even before the law has been given a chance to run its course.

Shooting of war crimes suspect
raises ire, questions in Australia


MELBOURNE, Australia An alleged Nazi war criminal, Ivan Timofeyevich Polyukhovich, was found critically wounded near his home in Adelaide on July 29 [1990].

Mr. Polyukhovich, 74, was shot in the chest only hours before he was to have been placed under South Australian police custody coinciding with the start of his committal hearing on July 30, reported The Australian.

The shooting is being treated as an attempted murder, reported the daily newspaper in a front page story on July 31.

The case of Mr. Polyukhovich, who was arrested on January 25, has now sparked controversy over police security for the alleged war criminal, with federal and state officials each denying that Mr. Polyukhovich's security was their responsibility.

Mr. Polyukhovich is charged with the murder of 24 people and involvement in the killing of 850 others during World War II.

Ukrainian community spokesmen say that the community is upset by the biased media reports on the war crimes case against Mr. Polyukhovich.

"Mr. Polyukhovich is not a Ukrainian and has never had any involvement with the Ukrainian community," said Michael Moravsky, president of the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organizations.

"In media reports Mr. Polyukhovich is described as a Ukrainian accused of murdering Jews during World War II.  The fact that some 5 million Ukrainians lost their lives during the war at the hands of the Nazis and the Communist NKVD is never mentioned," Mr. Moravsky continued.

"The war crimes hysteria and biased media reporting of it has no doubt been responsible for the disgraceful vandalism of several Ukrainian churches in Adelaide earlier this year.  This is an absurd paradox when it is considered that Ukraine suffered more than any other country which was occupied by the Nazis.

"If it can be established that the shooting of Mr. Polyukhovich was instigated by a vigilante mentality it will have borne out the predictions of those who questioned the wisdom of war crimes trials in Australia several years ago.  There have been two instances in the U.S. where people acquitted of alleged crimes were bombed.  In one case the target was killed, while in the other an innocent bystander was maimed," Mr. Moravsky noted.

Re-emerging questions


Controversy has also re-emerged over whether Australia should have even undertaken the prosecution of suspected Nazi war criminals so many years after the fact.  In a July 31 interview in The Australian, Dr. Frank Knopfelmacher, identified as a Jewish commentator, blamed the Australian government headed by Prime Minister Bob Hawke for allowing "friction, disaffection and turbulence" to be caused among ethnic groups.

Dr. Knopfelmacher told reporter Peter Coster that the government should have banned the members of the Simon Wiesenthal Center from entering Australia and should have deported those who were in the country.

The former Melbourne University academic said he believes war crimes trials 50 years later are "a contrivance to use guilt for support for Israel" this despite the fact that members of his family had been victims of the Holocaust.  Dr. Knopfelmacher also expressed his opinion that some Jewish organizations, in return for increased Jewish emigration from the Soviet Union, "offered to hound former residents of the Soviet Union who had refused to return after the war."

The next day, Padraic P. McGuiness, also writing in The Australian, commented that there are very real issues involved in the Nazi war crimes prosecution issue.  "They fall into two main groups: on the one hand, the question of whether there is any chance of those charged getting a fair trial at this date and place, and the justification for pursuing such charges at huge expense; and on the other hand, the motives of those who are determined to pursue the prosecutions," he wrote.

He went on to state that Dr. Knopfelmacher and others have alleged that the war crimes issue "has become part of the propaganda campaign being conducted by the Israeli government to bind Jewish communities and their sympathizers more closely to Israeli policy by playing on their grief about those of their people who died in the Holocaust, and the guilt felt by those who were lucky enough to escape."

The commentator concluded his article by stating, "I, too, distrust the motives of those who wish to stir up old hatreds and old fears."  (Ukrainian Weekly, August 19, 1990)

The above article brings to mind several possibilities.

(1)  That, as I said above, vigilante action may take place following the identification of suspected Nazi war criminals, but before legal proceedings have commenced.  One reason for vigilante action being taken at such an early stage is to prevent any legal proceedings from ever taking place.  Vigilante groups might wish to prevent legal proceedings in cases where evidence against the accused was weak and the proceedings were expected to be unsuccessful.  From this emerges the hypothesis that the first victims of vigilante action might be those against whom inculpatory evidence was weakest, or against whom inculpatory evidence was most vulnerable to being shown to be fabricated.

(2)  That law enforcement agencies may find themselves unprepared for such vigilante action, and may respond to its outbreak by squabbling over whose responsibility it had been to prevent it.  In the present case in Canada, however, as you have been pre-warned of the possibility of vigilante action, it is your responsibility to immediately and unequivocally assign the protection of vulnerable Canadians to the appropriate agencies, and by doing so to prevent such vigilante action.  Having been so explicitly and repeatedly pre-warned, I remind you that the responsibility for any spilled blood will be laid at your feet.

(3)  That in hiring Neal Sher, you are responding to pressure to pervert the Canadian justice system away from the Western model which guarantees observance of due process irrespective of results to a totalitarian model which guarantees results irrespective of due process.

(4)  That in its recent decisions to hire Neal Sher and to increase pressure on Nazi-war-crimes prosecutors to achieve certain results regardless of whether or not such results are achievable within a framework of due-process protections, your Department of Justice is serving as the tool of Israeli interests whose primary motives in keeping the issue of Nazi war crimes alive are to increase Jewish cohesion and support for Israel, and by means of the harassment of Baltic and Ukrainian emigres to repay the Soviet Union (and today the debt might continue to be repaid to the Former Soviet Union) for permitting the emigration of Jews to Israel.

I remind you that I bring the four above points to your notice not as certainties, but as possibilities which Canadians have not the option of dismissing from consideration out of hand.

Your failure to respond to, or even acknowledge receipt of, my previous three letters to you (Nov 14/97, Nov 18/97, and Dec 19/97) suggests a lack of respect for non-Jewish concerns in this matter.  I wonder if you are similarly neglectful in replying to concerns addressed to you by Jewish sources?

In my previous three letters, I have been asking you to address yourself to the narrow question of the suitability of Neal Sher for the job of adviser to Canada's Nazi-war-crimes prosecutors.  At the present, however, your seeming weakness in resisting the corruption of Canadian justice has reached a point that I am beginning to wonder whether uninviting Neal Sher would be enough, or whether Canada's Western style of justice would not be afforded more adequate protection from erosion by your resignation.

Yours truly,


Lubomyr Prytulak


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