SS massacre trial delayed

The trial of Erich Priebke, the former SS captain involved in the wartime massacre of 335 Italian civilians, suffered yet another setback yesterday as the military court due to rehear his case later this month declared itself incompetent and referred the case back to civilian authorities.

The military argues that Priebke, 84, should be treated as a civilian since the SS was an offshoot of the Nazi party, and not strictly a military outfit, while the criminal courts believe the case should be treated as a sequel to the 1948 military tribunal which prosecuted Nazis involved in the massacre at the Ardeatine Caves outside Rome.

Andrew Gumbel - Rome

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