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Wednesday, February 10, 1999 Published at 18:19 GMT


Jury sees where Sawoniuk 'killed Jews'

Anthony Sawoniuk: "Volunteered for Nazi-backed police"

Jurors in Britain's first war crimes trial have been shown maps and photographs of the town where the killings allegedly took place.

The prosecution claim Domachevo in Belorussia was where Anthony Sawoniuk murdered Jews while working as a policeman there during World War II.

Mr Sawoniuk, 77, a former British Rail worker, from Bermondsey, south-east London, denies murdering two Jewish men and two Jewish women in 1942.

'Road of death'

John Nutting, QC, prosecuting, explained the layout of Domachevo - part of the Soviet Union during the war - to the jury at the Old Bailey in London.

This included a ghetto where Jews were herded after the German occupation in 1941.

He also pointed out another gate, which stood by the former police station. It was formerly known as the "road of death" because it lead to a forest and sandhills where Jews were killed.

Killed 'with enthusiasm'

The jury is set to see the area first hand when they visit it next week.

It will be the first time a British court has convened on foreign soil.

The jury has heard that Mr Sawoniuk volunteered to be a policeman in the Nazi-supported police force during the German occupation, and had led "search and kill" death squads following the massacre of 2,900 Jews in the town in 1942.

He had carried out the genocidal policy of the Germans with "enthusiasm", and was later promoted to become commander of the town's police, it has been alleged.

The case continues.

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