New trial begins in Italy for ex-Nazi
April 14, 1997
Web posted at: 12:57 p.m. EDT (1657 GMT)
ROME (CNN) -- Former Nazi SS captain Erich Priebke appeared
before an Italian court on the first day of his second trial
for World War II-era war crimes. Priebke, 83, is accused of
taking part in the 1944 execution of 335 civilians in
retaliation for a bombing by the Italian resistance against
occupying German forces.
Priebke was convicted of murder last August by a military
court. But the court cleared him of premeditation and
cruelty, the aggravating circumstances necessary to override
Italy's 30-year statute of limitations on murder. An
appellate court ordered the new trial after prosecutors filed
an appeal arguing that the military court was biased.
Priebke is under house arrest in a Roman Catholic convent
south of Rome. He told the court Monday that he is unwell and
will not attend future hearings unless called upon.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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