TORONTO, August 9, 2007 -- B'nai Brith Canada has launched a court challenge seeking judicial review of the Federal Government's decision not to revoke the citizenship of Wasyl Odynsky and Vladimir Katriuk, whom the courts ruled were guilty of lying about their war-time pasts when entering the country. The War Crimes Unit of the Department of Justice found serious grounds for concluding that these individuals were complicit in Nazi war crimes. Last May, Cabinet took the decision not to revoke their citizenship, after crucial evidence from direct stakeholders in this process, notably the Jewish community, failed to be presented to all the ministers.
"We have initiated legal action seeking a reversal of Cabinet's decision not to revoke the citizenship of Odynsky and Katriuk," said David Matas, Senior Legal Counsel to B'nai Brith Canada. "It is our position that Odynsky and Katriuk, who were found guilty of lying their way into Canada, must be stripped of their citizenship and deported.
"We intend to argue that this process was flawed, that Cabinet was prevented from making a fully informed decision on this critical matter. Documents now in our possession show that the ministers considering revocation of citizenship were fed selective testimony weighting the decision in one direction, while failing to be presented with or consider submissions from the Jewish victims of Nazi genocide or their representatives.
"Holocaust survivors and their families must not be denied the right for their voices to be heard in this process."