ADELAIDE,Australia -- Two elderly pensioners have been charged here with the wartime murders of Jews in the Ukraine, the Adelaide Advertiser said in a front page story today.
It was only the second time that such wartime charges had been brought in Australia.
The Advertiser said the names of the two men had been suppressed, pending their appearances in the Adelaide magistrates court this morning.
Yesterday's arrest followed charges brought at the beginning of last year against third pensioner, Ivan Polyukhovich, 75, the first person to be charged in Australia under the 1945 War Crimes Act. Mr. Polyukhovich was shot, though not fatally, while out walking a year ago, and he has yet to stand trial.
His case followed investigations by a special federal government unit into allegations that war criminals were living in Australia.
It also set off a long legal battle over the validity of the War Crimes Act, a validity which Australia's high court upheld.
Yesterday's charges detailed the alleged responsibility of the two men in the murders of 226 people, mostly Jews, including old men, women and children.
The first man, age 78, was charged with "being knowingly concerning in or party to the murder between March 1 and July 31, 1942, of 102 Jewish people described as the Jews of Gnivan, a village in the Ukraine," the Advertiser said. The paper named several of the alleged victims.
The second man was charged with "being directly or knowingly concerned in or party to the murder about 104 Jewish people" from Izraylovka between May 1 and July 30, 1942, with the murder in the same village of 19 children from 4 months to 11 years of age, and with the murder of a Ukrainian railway construction worker in 1943.
The men were freed on bail but ordered to report to police twice a week.