Trial of ex-Nazi officer expected to start Monday in Italy

September 11, 2008 17:45

A judge was expected to decide Monday whether an 89-year-old former Nazi officer convicted of killing 14 civilians in wartime Italy was fit to stand trial in Germany for those same crimes, a court spokeswoman said Thursday. A court-appointed expert had previously determined that Josef Scheungraber was fit to appear in court, though only for a few hours at a time due to his advanced age. Prosecutors accused Scheungraber, who in World War II was stationed in Italy as the commander of a mountain infantry battalion, of ordering his troops to kill the civilians at Falzano di Cortona, near the Tuscan town of Arezzo, in June 1944 as retribution for the killing of two German soldiers. Scheungraber denied the charges.

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