A 68-year-old Adelaide resident, Heinrich Wagner, will face trial early next year on war crimes charges, including the murder of 19 “mixed-blood” children in the Ukraine in 1942.
The decision was reached in Magistrates Court last Friday.
Magistrate Kym Boxall ruled that the accused must answer charges that he was involved in the mass murder of 104 Jews from the Ukrainian village of Izraylovka in 1942, the 1943 killing of a Ukrainian railway worker and the deliberate shooting of the children, who were between the ages of 4 months and 11 years.
Wagner is due to appear in the South Australian Supreme Court on Jan. 11.
Prosecution lawyers were visibly elated at the decision, especially in the wake of a ruling in July that there was no sufficient cause to bring charges against another accused war criminal, Mikolay Berezowsky.
Wagner will be the second, and probably the last, Australian resident to face the court on charges of war crimes. The first accused, Ivan Polyukhovich, is due to appear in court later this month. He has pleaded “not guilty” to charges against him.
Wagner was apparently enabled to make his way to Australia after he changed his name to Woitijenko and lied in other details when he applied to the International Refugee Organization in post-war Europe.