Nazi war criminal returns to Italy to serve life sentence

Extradited from Canada, an 83-year-old former SS prison guard who witnesses said laughed when he tortured inmates in an Italian detention camp was imprisoned Saturday near Naples to start serving a life sentence for war crimes. Michael Seifert used a cane and leaned on the arm of a policeman as he walked with shuffling steps upon arrival early Saturday at Rome's Ciampino airport. He was whisked away to Santa Maria Capua Vetere prison. A military tribunal in Verona had put the Ukrainian-born Seifert on trial in absentia and convicted him in 2000 of nine counts of murder committed while he was an SS guard at a prison transit camp in Bolzano, in the Alpine area of South Tyrol. He has acknowledged being a guard at the SS-run camp but denies being involved in atrocities. Seifert, who has lived in Canada since 1951, had unsuccessfully fought efforts by the Canadian government to strip him of his citizenship based on allegations that he hid his past when he entered the country.