Ex-Nazi guard jailed in Italy after extradition

Sat Feb 16, 2008 10:47am EST
 
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Silvia Aloisi

ROME (Reuters) - A former Nazi guard extradited from Canada arrived in Italy on Saturday to serve a life sentence for war crimes committed there during World War Two.

Michael Seifert, who had lived in Canada since 1951, landed at Rome's Ciampino airport before dawn on Saturday.

Italian TV footage showed the 83-year-old, wearing a baseball cap and walking slowly with the help of a cane as local police escorted him out of the airport.

An Italian military tribunal convicted Seifert in absentia in 2000 for torturing and murdering at least 18 people while serving as a guard at a prison camp in the northern city of Bolzano between December 1944 and April 1945.

A copy of the sentence, posted on the Web site of Italy's Defense Ministry, said Seifert -- known at the camp as "Misha" -- had tortured his victims with fire, broken bottles, clubs and ice-cold water.

It said Seifert in one instance raped a pregnant woman detained in an isolation cell before killing her. In a separate episode, he left a 15-year-old Jewish prisoner to die of hunger.

Seifert has acknowledged being a guard at the prison, which held Jews and political prisoners awaiting transfer to German concentration camps, but denied he had killed anyone.

Dubbed by Italian media the "Executioner of Bolzano," Seifert was turned over to Italian authorities in Toronto on Friday. After arriving in Rome, he was temporarily taken to a military prison in southern Italy.   Continued...

 
<p>In this file photo accused of war crimes during World War II, Michael Seifert (L) walks with his son John as he arrives at a Vancouver court, November 12, 2002. Seifert, who had lived in Canada since 1951, landed at Rome's Ciampino airport before dawn on Saturday. REUTERS/Andy Clark</p>