Vladimir Katriuk was born Oct. 1, 1921, in the village of Luzhany,
(now) Ukraine. In November/December 1941 he was with a group of
Ukrainian Nationalists who unfurled a Ukrainian flag in Kyiv. They were
arrested by the Germans, the leaders shot, and he was given the option
of being sent to Germany as a forced laborer or joining the
Schutzmannschaften police units. He joined the police unit and ended up
guarding a flour mill in Kyiv against Communist saboteurs for about one
year and guarding a Polish village in Belarus against partisans for
another year. There is no evidence that he committed atrocities at
either of these locations.
In 1944, his unit was transferred to France to fight against the
Western Allies. His unit deserted and joined the French partisans. They
fought with the French army against the Germans for several weeks until
a Soviet repatriation commission arrived and demanded that these people
be returned to the Soviet Union. When they refused, they were interned
by the French and given the choice of either returning to the Soviet
Union or joining the French Foreign Legion (FFL).
Mr Katriuk joined the FFL and once again fought against the Germans,
was wounded, spent 2 months in an American military hospital, and
fought once again with the Western Allies until the end of the war. The
French military presented him with a medal and supporting documents for
his service and bravery.
He was prepared to go to Indochina with the FFL, but because of his
virulent anti-communist views got into a fight with his Spanish
Communist commanding officer, who promised him that he would not return
alive from Vietnam. He deserted and went back to the French partisans,
who prepared false documents for him under the name of Nicolas
Schpirka. With these documents he obtained his ID papers from the
French authorities, found work, got married to Maria Kawun in 1948, and
opened a delicatessen shop in Paris.
After receiving an invitation from friends, the Rohosky's, to immigrate
to Montreal, they applied at the Canadian Consulate in Paris in 1951 to
immigrate to Canada under the name of Schpirka. According to their
testimony, they made three visits to the Consulate: the first visit to
obtain information, the second visit to fill out the forms, the third
visit to have X-rays taken. Both Mr. and Mrs. Katriuk testified that
during their second visit, an employee at the Canadian Consulate in
Paris filled out the immigration application form on their behalf. Mr.
Katriuk insists that the employee did not ask him any specific
questions about his wartime activities.
There is no record of any of these visits, nor of the immigration
application form, nor of the name of the employee in question, nor of
the procedures carried out at the Canadian Consulate in Paris in 1951.
They arrived aboard the steamship, Nelly, in Quebec City on Aug. 14,
1951 and a record of their landing under the name Schpirka exists. They
continued to the Rohosky's in Montreal the next day and started their
life in Canada. After five years of residency, they decided to acquire
their Canadian citizenship, but they wanted to revert to their correct
name, Vladimir and Maria Katriuk.
In 1957, they went to their priest, who took them to a lawyer, Paul
Masse, who inquired at the Department of Citizenship and Immigration as
to the best course to follow, who, in turn, instructed Mr. Masse that
they should apply to the Department for a name change before applying
for citizenship. On Oct. 17, 1957, Mr. Masse sent in the requested
affidavit and in a letter dated May 13, 1958, the Department informed
Mr. Masse that their request had been granted and that the name in
their dossiers had been changed to Vladimir and Maria Katriuk. On May
20, 1958, the Katriuk's applied for their citizenship which was granted
on Nov. 10, 1958, in a citizenship ceremony before Judge Robitaille,
who was fully aware of the name change.
We emphasize that Mr. and Mrs. Katriuk applied for the name change
completely openly and in good faith. They could very easily have lived
the rest of their lives under the name of Schpirka.
Presumably, Mr. Katriuk's name arose during the Deschenes Commission
hearings in 1985-86. Mr. Katriuk relates that the Soviet KGB visited
his sisters and brother in Ukraine in the early 1980s (during the
Brezhnev era). They were very rude and threatening and kept demanding a
picture of Mr. Katriuk (which they did not have). There was a second,
more respectful, visit during the Gorbachev era requesting information
and a picture. It is our understanding that documents in Ottawa
archives relating to the circumstances leading to charges against Mr.
Katriuk have been made secret for a period of 25 years.
Mr. and Mrs. Katriuk were shocked when they received a letter dated
August 15, 1996 from the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
(Lucienne Robillard) announcing intention to revoke Mr. Katriuk's
citizenship. On August 27, 1996, Mr. Katriuk referred the case to the
Federal Court of Canada (Judge Marc Nadon). In his Verdict, Judge Nadon
does not reveal the dates of the trial, but he does refer to taking
evidence from Savaliy Khrenov in Nizhniy Novgorod, Russian Federation
on March 30, 1998.
We will not repeat the form-letter-type blanket condemnation of Mr.
Katriuk by the prosecution. Judge Nadon concedes that there is no
evidence that Mr. Katriuk committed atrocities or that he "voluntarily"
joined the police units. However, he seems to emphasize the two terms
"collaborator" and "use of false or fictitious name" as relevant
issues. After a great deal of mental gymnastics, he concludes "that Mr.
Katriuk was not lawfully admitted to Canada for permanent residence"
and rules that Mr. Katriuk "obtained his Canadian citizenship by false
representation, or fraud or by concealing material circumstances".
An analysis of Judge Nadon's Verdict confirms our contention that d/d is a blueprint for injustice:
There can be no doubt that these civil proceedings constitute a major
violation of the civil liberties of the accused victim. No evidence of
individual criminality is required. The victim is accused of lying
during his immigration procedures, an accusation, which also cannot be
proven. In essence, the outcome of the trial depends on whether the
judge believes the prosecution's contention that at a hypothetical
immigration hearing, a hypothetical security officer asked a
hypothetical question to which the accused (who is attributed with the
knowledge then of what is considered material today) did not answer
In our Critique
of the Verdict, we point out inconsistencies in the evidence and reject
much of Judge Nadon's convoluted reasoning. Of particular relevance are
(1) The circumstances from 1957 until Nov. 10, 1958, when Mr. and Mrs.
Katriuk obtained their citizenship, are related in sections 
through . However, the critical Oct. 18, 1957, affidavit sent by
Paul Masse on behalf of Mr. and Mrs. Katriuk to the Department of
Citizenship and Immigration is not part of the evidence (for some
unknown reason). From the contents of an Oct. 17, 1958 memo from the
Chief, Admissions Office to the Registrar, Mr. Duggan, Judge Nadon
infers the contents of the Oct. 18, 1957 affidavit. We submit that
Judge Nadon has no way of knowing that the information summarized in
this memo is an accurate reflection of the contents of the original
affidavit. It is, at best, "hearsay" evidence.
We suggest that most people examining the evidence presented in these
sections would have concluded that Mr. and Mrs. Katriuk acted properly
and honorably in attaining the name change and their Canadian
(2) Throughout the Verdict, Judge Nadon illustrates numerous instances
where the prosecution has not met the burden of proof required of them
and failed to provide evidence and testimony which was expected:
 "There is not much evidence concerning the Paris Consulate in 1951."
"There is no evidence whatsoever in that regard."
 "... no one was called by the Minister to testify with respect to
the specific process in place in that office in 1951 ..."
 "However, with respect to the other potential witnesses, the evidence is silent."
 "Once again, the Minister did not offer any explanation as to why
no one [of the 980 immigrants aboard the Nelly] was called to testify
with respect to the form being used and the questions being asked at
the Paris office in 1951."
 "The end result is that the Minister adduced no evidence ... to
demonstrate that Mr. Katriuk was specifically asked about his war time
 "Mr. Katriuk's affidavit dated October 18, 1957 is not in
evidence. No explanation was given to me why the affidavit was not
available. All I know concerning that affidavit is what appears in the
memorandum of October 17, 1958 sent by the Department of Immigration to
the Registrar of Canadian Citizenship."
From the above comments, it is obvious that the Canadian War Crimes Unit is either incompetent or acting in bad faith.
(3) In sections  and , Judge Nadon finds that Mr. Katriuk
must have been asked about: "details regarding the longest job he had
had in the last ten years and the number of jobs he had had during
those ten years. I am also finding that Mr. Katriuk must have been
asked when and how he arrived in France." He then argues that Mr.
Katriuk must have answered untruthfully to these questions.
We reiterate that there is no evidence that such questions were asked.
We further submit that even if such questions were asked, Mr. Katriuk
could have answered truthfully (except for the name change) and the
employee, who filled out the immigration forms for Mr. and Mrs.
Katriuk, would still have approved the application. This is attested to
by the thousands of refugees who immigrated to Canada under similar
(4) We take great exception to the suggestion of Judge Nadon in section
 that Mr. and Mrs. Katriuk had some ulterior motives in wanting to
revert to their true names. They could very easily have obtained their
citizenship under the name of Schpirka and lived in anonymity for the
rest of their lives. Instead, out of self-respect for their own
identity and respect for their new country, Canada, they went through
the complicated procedure -- very sincerely and very openly -- of
changing their names back to Katriuk. Since its inception Canada had
welcomed millions of the poor and the hungry to develop its vast area.
They were grateful to be given the opportunity to live in and help
(5) In section , Judge Nadon claims that: "Mr. Katriuk's statement
[as inferred from the Oct. 17, 1958 memo] that he 'took refuge in
France in 1944' is not ... an accurate and truthful statement."
We must respectfully disagree with Judge Nadon. What better description
is there than "took refuge in France in 1944" to describe the situation
of Mr. Katriuk? He took refuge from the Germans with the French
partisans when he deserted the German army. He fought with the French
against the Germans until he was threatened by the Russian KGB with
repatriation to the Soviet Union. He then took refuge with the French
Foreign Legion and again fought with the Western Allies against the
Germans, was wounded, recovered and fought once again. He was prepared
to go to Vietnam. But when his commanding officer in the FFL threatened
him with death, he deserted and once again took refuge with his
comrades in the French partisans. He de facto
lived as a refugee in France until he managed to immigrate to Canada.
He stopped being a refugee when Judge Robitaille presented him with his
Canadian citizenship on November 10, 1958. Or so he thought. What more
could Judge Nadon possibly demand of a human being?
(6) Once again, we take great exception to the incredible gymnastics of
Judge Nadon's reasoning in section . He attributes motives and
beliefs to Mr. and Mrs. Katriuk, which are simply not true. He refers
to a questionnaire, which was never utilized. He refers to questions
which were never asked. He claims that the Department of Citizenship
and Immigration in 1958 did not have all the relevant facts, but
concedes that, even if they did, they may have ruled in favour of Mr.
and Mrs. Katriuk. He then incredibly concludes: "Whether or not the
decision would have been favourable to Mr. Katriuk is not, in my view,
(7) In section , Judge Nadon renders his guilty verdict.
On page 224 of the Deschenes Commission Report, finding #43 states:
"The existence of a presumption of fact that a former immigrant, if a
war criminal, must have lied for purposes either of immigration or of
citizenship, cannot be taken generally for granted, in light of the
conflicting evidence before the Commission. It must be left to the
courts to decide whether, in any given case, such a presumption has
been established with a high degree of probability."
Despite the Verdict of Judge Nadon, any fair-minded person must
conclude that Judge Nadon and Canadian War Crimes Unit failed miserably
in satisfying this criterion.