"That is nonsense," Adamkus told BNS when asked to comment on Belarusian prosecutors' request to question him as a witness in their investigation into "the genocide of the Belarusian people" during World War Two.

Eduard Skurat of the Belarusian Prosecutor General's Office said earlier on Wednesday that he has information that Adamkus was an assistant to Antanas Impliavicius, the head of a SS-subordinated auxiliary police battalion that carried out punitive operations in Belarus during the war.

"I don't even know that such organizations existed. I've no understanding of what they did and who these people are. I hear about it for the first time," Adamkus told BNS.

The former president described the probe by Belarus' law-enforcement as a "ridiculous attempt to divert attention from Belarusians' struggle for freedom."

"I believe this is just a formal provocation to involve more people in their internal problems," he added.

Skurat said there is information that Adamkus was Impliavicius' assistant in 1944.

According to the official, Belarusian investigators are now looking into whether Adamkus was in any way in involved in the punitive battalion's activities.