An Italian military tribunal on Friday convicted an 86-year-old former Nazi officer in absentia in the 1944 killings of 10 civilians, the Italian news agency ANSA reported.
ANSA said that Heinrich Nordhorn, who lives in Germany and didn't attend the war crimes trial in La Spezia, was sentenced to life imprisonment for involvement in the hanging of 10 Italians in retaliation for attacks near Forli which had wounded two Germans, one of them fatally.
Courts were closed Friday night in La Spezia, a port city in northern Italy, and lawyers for civilian groups which attached a civil lawsuit to the criminal case could not immediately be reached for comment.
Ten citizens from Forli were killed "without need and without any justified motive" by a platoon led by Nordhorm, ANSA quoted the military court as ruling.
An Italian civilian who was forced by the Germans to witness the hangings was among those testifying at the trial, the report said. The hangings occurred during German occupation of Italy during World War II.