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Lawyer Appeals to U.N. on Priebke

A lawyer in Rome has appealed to the United Nations to have former SS Capt. Erich Priebke tired on war crimes charges in an international court.

Priebke, 82, was extradited in November from Argentina to Italy to stand trial for involvement in the March 1944 mass murder of 335 civilians, including 75 Jews, in the Ardeatine Caves near Rome.

Pietro Nicotera, the lawyer for a relative of one of the victims, wrote to the United Nations and to italian legal authorities. He urged that Priebke be tried in an international arena on genocide charges.

“In allowing his extradition, the Argentine Supreme Court recognized that the fact of having killed 75 Jews who were not prisoners of war” constitutes the “crime of genocide,” Nicotera wrote, according to the Rome daily II Messaggero.

A preliminary hearing had been adjourned pending a decision, which is expected in March, on whether the Jewish community, family members of the victims and others can participate in the trial as civil plaintiffs.

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