e-Poshta | 11Jan2008 | Author unknown

RCMP WW II war crimes investigations reactivated

Please be advised that the RCMP are still actively investigating allegations of war crimes committed during WWII. A member of the Ukrainian Canadian community was contacted this week by an RCMP officer who said he was following up on an old, previously uninvestigated list of alleged war criminals.

Please speak to your elderly parents and relatives and advise them that if an RCMP officer or investigator telephones them or knocks on their door they are to do the following, all of which is within their constitutional rights:

1. They should not speak to or say anything whatsoever to the officer/investigator. This includes small talk, casual conversation, confirmation of identity, date or place of birth, country of origin, citizenship, etc.

2. Instead, they should take the name and telephone number of the investigator and tell them that their lawyer will get back to them. They should then close the door or hang up the telephone.

3. Please ask your relatives to contact you so that you can arrange legal counsel for them.

In every case that has proceeded to court thus far, the accused individuals gave voluntary statements to the police investigators. Many members of our community are not aware of their legal right to counsel and out of fear, or in the mistaken belief that they have no choice in the matter, give voluntary, potentially incriminating statements to the police. The investigators are experienced interrogators and adopt a friendly, non-threatening manner to encourage the accused to speak to them without presence of counsel.

They will start with casual, seemingly non-threatening questions intended to disarm the accused and to get them talking. They are not obligated to advise you of the right to counsel, so it is crucial that anyone who is contacted by the police say nothing at all (not a single word) to the investigator until they have a lawyer with them.

It is preferable to contact a lawyer who is experienced in criminal matters.