MONTREAL — A Quebec man who was suspected of being a Nazi war criminal and being involved in a massacre in 1943 has died, his lawyer said Thursday.
Vladimir Katriuk had been ill for a long time, Orest Rudzik said in an interview.
“He passed away, I think it was last Friday,” Rudzik said from Oakville, Ont. “It was a stroke or something do with a stroke.”
Katriuk had been living in the Quebec town of Ormstown and had been an avid beekeeper for years.
News of Katriuk’s death emerged just several hours after the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs said Ottawa should take the necessary steps to ensure that he be held accountable if he were found guilty of war crimes committed in collaboration with the Nazis.
The Russian Embassy in Ottawa called on the Harper government a few weeks ago to support a criminal case against Katriuk and said the Ukraine native was involved in a March 1943 massacre in Khatyn, Byelorussia, which is now Belarus.
Katriuk, who moved to Canada in the 1950s and was said by Rudzik to be 93, previously denied any involvement in war crimes.
Rudzik said he was informed of the death by a relative of Katriuk’s and that he last spoke to his client a few months ago.