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Tuesday, March 23, 1999 Published at 18:08 GMT


Sawoniuk threatens to storm out

Anthony Sawoniuk: Accused of hunting down Jews

A retired railway worker accused of war crimes threatened to storm out of the Old Bailey after being repeatedly questioned about whether he was a member of the SS.

Anthony Sawoniuk, 78, told prosecution barrister John Nutting QC he would not answer any more questions about the German army.

Mr Nutting asked him: "Did you ever join the Waffen Border Regiment SS?"

Mr Sawoniuk replied: "I have never been in the German army. Don't mention to me about the German army or I am going."

[ image:  ]
His lawyer, William Clegg QC, intervened to ask for a short break but the judge Mr Justice Potts said the cross examination must continue.

Later Mr Sawoniuk, a retired ticket collector from Bermondsey, south London, raised his voice and told Mr Nutting: "I am tired of you and everyone else sitting there.

"I have been waiting five years for this case. I have got it all inside me."

Mr Sawoniuk, who came to the UK after the war, has pleaded not guilty to two charges of killing Jews in Nazi-occupied Belarus in 1942.

Earlier Mr Sawoniuk refused to look at a document written in German which contained details about him.

Asked by Mr Nutting to tell the jury why the Waffen SS document contained his details, the defendant pointed at a London policeman in the court and said: "That man there printed it."

[ image: The cemetery where Domachevo's massacred Jews were buried]
The cemetery where Domachevo's massacred Jews were buried
Mr Sawoniuk has previously claimed some of the witnesses testifying against him were part of a KGB conspiracy and Mr Nutting asked him if he thought Scotland Yard was also involved.

He replied: "Probably, they are all working together."

Earlier Mr Sawoniuk told the jury: "I could not speak German, I could not write German - how could I join the SS, which is the best army in Germany?"

He told Mr Nutting: "These people are animals. I have more sympathy with animals than your witnesses. They are not human beings."

[ image:  ]
Shortly before the hearing was adjourned for the day Mr Sawoniuk broke down and told the court he had suffered a nervous breakdown after coming to the UK.

He was given electric shock treatment at the Maudsley Hospital in London in 1956.

"I spent six or seven months in there. Since then I have lost a lot of memory and I have headaches almost every day," said Mr Sawoniuk.

The trial continues.

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