Nazi gets life sentence - but won't be jailed

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The Independent Online
A MILITARY appeals court yesterday upheld the conviction of Erich Priebke, an ex-SS captain, for war crimes in Italy and sentenced him to life imprisonment - two months before he would have gone free.

But prosecutors said Priebke, 85, would not go to jail. Instead, the former Nazi, convicted of helping carry out the massacre of 335 civilians in occupied Rome in 1944, will stay under house arrest because of frail health.

The five-man panel also convicted former SS Major Karl Hass, 85, of helping to carry out the massacre. Both men's defence teams said they would appeal to Italy's supreme court.

The executions were ordered in retaliation for a bombing by resistance fighters that killed 33 occupation soldiers. Priebke and Hass admitted shooting two victims each. Priebke said he helped round up the victims because to have refused the orders - which the defence said came from Hitler - would have meant death for themselves.