ORMSTOWN , Quebec, May 29 (UPI) -- Vladimir Katriuk, a suspected Nazi war criminal whose deportation from Canada was demanded weeks ago by Russia, has died, his lawyer said.
Katriuk, 93, of Ukrainian ancestry, lived in Canada for the past 60 years, and was an Ormstown, Quebec, beekeeper at the time of his death. The Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, which investigates Nazi war crimes, had placed him second on its most-wanted list. His death came hours after the Toronto-based Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs in Canada requested that he be held accountable for his alleged involvement in a 1943 massacre in Khatyn, now in Belarus, where it is believed all 156 residents of the village were killed by a Nazi battalion composed largely of Ukrainians.
On May 8 Russia accused him of war crimes and demanded he be deported to Moscow to face trial, largely to embarrass Canada, which has been adamant in criticizing Russia for its annexation of Crimea and military involvement in Ukraine.
In 1999 Canada's Federal Court ruled Katriuk obtained citizenship under false pretenses, that he did not tell Canadian authorizes about his collaboration with the Nazis, after he emigrated in 1951, but found no evidence of war crimes.
"Mr. Katriuk has passed away, after years of unwarranted harassment, media not excepted," Orest Rudzik, his lawyer, told the Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail. "I'm glad he's at peace. He'd been ailing for a long time."