Thursday, April 1, 1999 Published at 12:56 GMT 13:56 UK
Sawoniuk guilty of war crime
Sawoniuk: Under Scotland Yard investigation since 1994
Anthony Sawoniuk, 78, has been found guilty of murdering one unnamed Jewish woman in the UK's first full Nazi war crimes trial.
Sawoniuk, a retired railway worker, at first showed no emotion as the verdict was announced by the jury foreman. He then slumped back in his chair.
A witness had told the Old Bailey court he saw Sawoniuk, known then as "Andrusha", order three Jews - two men and a woman - to undress in front of an open grave.
Mr Baglay, who was 13 at the time, said: "The Jewess did not want to take off her underpants. She was 28 or 29.
"He was standing behind each of them and levered them into the pit by raising his knee."
Mr Baglay said he and a friend were then ordered to cover the bodies with earth.
Sawoniuk was originally subject to four charges of killing Jews in the village of Domachevo in Nazi-occupied Belarus in 1942.
The second charge still outstanding alleges Sawoniuk murdered another Jewess. A prosecution witness, Fedor Zan, told the court Mr Sawoniuk had mowed at least 15 women down with a submachine gun as they stood naked by a pit in Domachevo.
Earlier in the trial, two charges of murdering Jewish men were dropped by the judge at the Old Bailey due to flaws in the evidence.
The prosecution alleged that Sawoniuk led "search and kill" police squads which hunted down Jews trying to escape the holocaust of World War II.
He was "not only prepared to do the Nazis' bidding, but carried out their genocidal policy with enthusiasm", Sir John Nutting, QC, prosecuting had told the court.
In his own defence, he said his conscience was clear and that he was the victim of a conspiracy.
The former ticket collector from Bermondsey, south London, said he had been a friend of the Jews of Domachevo and blamed the killings on the Germans.
The trial created a number of legal precedents:
Sawoniuk first came to the attention of UK war crimes investigators in 1988 when his name was on a list of potential suspects handed to UK authorities by the Soviet Government.
He was one of 376 suspects investigated under the 1991 War crimes Act.
But it was not until 1994 that Scotland Yard began an inquiry into his wartime activities. He was first interviewed by police in April 1996 and was charged in September 1997.