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Jewish leader appeals to govt over Priebke tax bill

Journalist accused of defaming former Nazi also asked to pay up

08 May, 18:17
Jewish leader appeals to govt over Priebke tax bill (ANSA) - Rome, May 8 - The head of Rome's Jewish community is appealing a tax bill arising from a court case involving former German SS officer Erich Priebke that dates back 17 years.

Riccardo Pacifici is asking the new Minister of Justice Anna Maria Cancellieri to intervene in the case, "on a matter of principle" after he received the 300-euro tax bill.

It arose after Priebke, imprisoned in Rome for his role in the 1944 massacre of more than 335 Italians, unsuccessfully sued Pacifici and journalist Walter Vecellio.

Pacifici said he has no quarrel with the tax agency Equitalia, which unsuccessfully tried to collect the bill from Priebke, now 99, who claims jail has left him destitute.

The former SS officer claimed he was defamed by Vecellio, who called him an "executioner" in a 1996 article.

Vecellio, who like Pacifici received a copy of the tax bill, is also appealing to the government to intervene. Priebke was extradited from Argentina in 1995 and sentenced to life for his part in the 1944 reprisal that occurred outside of Rome at the Fosse Ardeatine where German soldiers killed 335 men and boys including many Jews.

Priebke has been living under house arrest in Rome.

He had a work permit revoked in 2007 after an outcry from the city's Jewish community.