LONDON (Apr. 27)
The British government is reported to have rejected a Soviet demand for the arrest and extradition of a man now resident in Britain accused by the Soviets of mass murders of Ukrainian Jews during World War II. The British Embassy in Moscow said the Soviet request was delivered to the Embassy January and that it was rejected in March. The British Foreign Office stated that Britain has no extradition treaty with the Soviet Union. Tass, the Soviet news agency, identified the man named in the note as Yuri Epifanovich Chapodze, a resident of Bournemouth. Chapodze, 57, who changed his name to George Chapell, said that “these charges are definitely not true. I was in the Ukraine at the time but I was in the Soviet Army.”
He added he would “refuse to comment any more until such time as some official approach is made to me. I don’t worry if they (Soviet officials) have something against me, I cannot hide but there is nothing on my conscience.” He has been in Britain for 22 years since leaving his home in Soviet Georgia and is now a naturalized British subject. According to Tass, Chapodze, then a squad commander in a “Caucasian Company,” took part during the summer of 1943 in the slaughter of some 2000 inmates of two Jewish ghettoes in Tarnapol in the Eastern Galicia region. Tass charged he had personally shot women, children and elderly victims and that in October, 1943, he took part in an “operation” to murder 3006 Jewish inmates in the Yanovsky camp on the outskirts of Ivov, and that he personally shot them.