Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point
On Air
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Friday, March 5, 1999 Published at 19:21 GMT


UK

War crime defendant identified as killer

Anthony Sawoniuk arrives at court

A man has been telling the Old Bailey how, as a 12-year-old boy, he was made to bury the bodies of three Jews he saw shot during the Nazi occupation of Belarus.


George Eykyn reports from the Old Bailey
The court heard from Alexander Baglay, now 69, who alleged two Jewish men and a woman were killed by a policeman in his home town of Domachevo.

The prosecution alleges the officer was the former British Rail ticket collector, Anthony Sawoniuk, 77, who denies four wartime murders.


[ image: Alexander Baglay: Key prosecution witness]
Alexander Baglay: Key prosecution witness
Mr Baglay is a key witness in in the war crimes trial and is the first to say he saw Mr Sawoniuk actually kill.

He told the court he was nearing his 13th birthday when he and a friend were caught scavenging for food in the town's devastated Jewish ghetto, where nearly 3,000 people had already been massacred.

Speaking through an interpretor, Mr Baglay told the court how the policeman known as Andrusha led the two boys out of the town.

Mr Sawoniuk, of south east London, denies this was him, but at the time he was a policeman known as Andrusha.

Mr Baglay told the court: "We were crying, thinking we would be shot.

"Then we saw two Jews and a Jewish lady. We realised they would not be shooting us, but we would be actually burying them."

He said the three emaciated Jews had been found hiding in a cellar and were waiting under guard beside a freshly dug pit.

Lined up and shot

The witness recalled how Andrusha told them to undress, lined them up above the pit, and shot each of them in the back of the head.

At the same time, the court heard, he pushed each of them forward with his knee so that they fell into the hole.

Mr Baglay said he and his friend were then ordered to bury the three bodies.

In the court, Mr Sawoniuk shook his head as Andrusha was held responsible for every stage of the killings.

His lawyer, William Clegg, QC, suggested to the witness that so much time had passed he might be mistaken.

"No," said Mr Baglay. "I saw it with my own eyes, I remember it beautifully."

Mr Sawoniuk is not alleged to have had any part in the massacre of nearly 3,000 Jews but is accused of four murders in round-up operations that followed.

The prosecution says he collaborated with the Nazis, leading search-and-kill squads to hunt down Jews.

He denies all charges. The trial continues.



Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©


UK Contents

Northern Ireland
Scotland
Wales
England

Relevant Stories

03 Mar 99 | UK
War crimes trial hears of 'beating'

02 Mar 99 | UK
Witness 'forced to watch war crimes'

23 Feb 99 | UK
War crimes trial continues in London

16 Feb 99 | UK
War crimes jury relives history

09 Feb 99 | UK
Jewish victims were 'murdered with enthusiasm'





Internet Links


Simon Wiesenthal Centre

The Holocaust History

Holocaust Remembrance Day


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online