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Archive for Saturday, February 16, 2008

Canada hands over Nazi war criminal

February 16, 2008

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— An 83-year-old former SS prison guard who was sentenced to life in jail in Italy for Nazi war crimes was extradited by Canada to Rome Friday, officials said.

Canadian authorities handed Michael Seifert over to Italian police in Toronto and a special military flight departed late Friday afternoon, said Alain Charette, a spokesman for Canada's Department of Justice.

When Seifert arrives today, he will be transferred to a military prison near Naples to begin serving his sentence, said Bartolomeo Costantini, the military prosecutor who pursued the case.

Seifert, known as the "Beast of Bolzano," was convicted in absentia in 2000 by a military tribunal in Verona on nine counts of murder, committed while he was an SS guard at a prison transit camp in Bolzano, northern Italy.

At his trial, people testified that Seifert starved a 15-year-old prisoner to death, gouged out a person's eyes and tortured a woman before killing her and her daughter.

Seifert, a Canadian citizen of Ukrainian origin, has acknowledged being a guard at the SS-run camp but denies being involved in atrocities.

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