If convicted of contributing to the killing of civilians in the villages of Chlaniow and Wladyslawin in July 1944, Karkoc could face a prison term for life.
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WARSAW, Poland — Poland will seek the arrest and extradition of a Minnesota man after confirming he was a Nazi unit commander suspected of ordering the killing of 44 Poles during World War II, a prosecutor said Monday.
Prosecutors in Germany previously launched their own investigation of Karkoc after stories in 2013 by The Associated Press revealing that he had been a former commander in the SS-led unit that had committed war crimes in Poland.
Robert Janicki said that various evidence gathered in years of investigation into U.S. confirmed “100%” that he was a commander of a unit in the SS-led Ukrainian Self Defence Legion, which is accused of burning villages and killing civilians in Poland. citizen Michael K.
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where he was being treated that led them to conclude he was not fit for trial. They never expressed doubts about Karkoc’s identity, but shelved their investigation after saying they had received “comprehensive medical documentation” from doctors at the geriatric hospital in the U.S.
If granted, Poland would seek his extradition, as Poland does not allow trial in absentia, Janicki said. Prosecutors of the state National Remembrance Institute have asked a regional court in Lublin, Poland, to issue an arrest warrant for Karkoc.
(AP Photo/U.S. National Archives) This photo of Michael Karkoc was part of his application for German citizenship filed with the Nazi SS-run immigration office on Feb. 14, 1940.
Karkoc’s family denies that he was involved in any war crimes.
The Associated Press has identified the man as 98-year-old Michael Karkoc, from Minneapolis.
“He is our suspect as of today,” Janicki said.
He said the man’s age was no obstacle in seeking to bring him before justice.