Austria probes alleged Nazi war criminal Bichler

Austrian authorities are investigating an alleged Nazi war criminal living in Tyrol who was convicted in absentia in Italy for his involvement in the 1944 slaughter of hundreds of civilians, an official said Monday. The probe of Hubert Bichler, 88, began earlier this year, said Wilfried Siegele, a spokesman for the public prosecutor's office in the western city of Innsbruck. Bichler was one of 10 former Nazi SS members convicted in absentia by an Italian military tribunal in January 2007 for Italy's worst World War II-era civilian massacre. In 1944, Nazi troops slaughtered more than 700 residents in Marzabotto - most of them children, women or the elderly - in what was ostensibly a hunt for resistance fighters.