Globe and Mail | 11Jun2005 | Brian Laghi

Volpe moves against Nazi war-crimes suspects, sources say

Saturday, June 11, 2005 Page A8

Immigration Minister Joe Volpe has asked his department to begin building cases to revoke the citizenship of five men in Canada who are suspected Nazi war criminals.

Sources told The Globe and Mail yesterday that Mr. Volpe called for the move soon after he took over as minister late last year.

Among the men is Helmut Oberlander, stripped of his citizenship by the federal cabinet after a court found that when he emigrated to Canada with his wife in 1954, he lied about serving as a translator for a Nazi death squad. A Federal Court ruling restored his citizenship a year ago.

Also included are: Michael Baumgartner, found in 2001 to have been a Waffen SS member and concentration camp guard; Jacob Fast, who has been awaiting a decision on his case since the Federal Court ruled in 2003 that he lied when coming to Canada, but found no evidence of war crimes; and Vladimir Katriuk, who in 1999 was found to have been a member of a battalion that fought partisans in Ukraine and who lost an appeal to the Supreme Court in 2000.

The fifth man is Wasyl Odynsky. Although a judicial ruling in 2001 found no evidence to link him to Nazi war crimes, a Federal Court judge ruled in 2001 that it is likely that he lied to immigration officers about his wartime status.

Ottawa abandoned prosecutions of Nazi war-crimes suspects after losing a Supreme Court case against Imre Finta in 1995. It adopted a policy of trying to strip alleged war criminals of their citizenship.