ROME: A former Nazi officer who confessed to killing two people and taking part in the World War II massacre of 335 civilians near Rome was arrested again just hours after being acquitted by an Italian court on Thursday. Erich Priebke, a former SS captain, is now back in jail waiting for extradition to Germany. After the Italian court pronounced sentence on Priebke, ruling that the statute of limitations had expired and that he could not be found guilty of some charges because he was following orders at the time, a horde of outraged protestors burst into the court, and refused to let the 83-year old leave. For seven hours, the crowd held him in court, injuring at least five police officers as fights broke out. As Priebke waits in Rome's Regina Coeli prison German authorities are working out an international extradition deal with Rome and Argentina, where Priebke was originally arrested. Italian authorities promised not to surrender the former Nazi to another country when they whisked him back to Italy for trial two years ago, but the German Justice Ministry is asking Argentinian officials to drop any opposition to another extradition and trial. Rabbis at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles called the decision a black mark for the Italian justice system and "a slap in the face" for the victims of the massacre and their families. The battle is not over yet, says TIME's Rhea Schoenthal from Bonn. "The German government is out to get Priebke. The court in Dortmund has written out the extradition request and will try to prosecute him regardless. Germany really can't afford to do anything else; it is German policy to put as many Nazi war criminals as possible on trial." so far. The 1,600 relay team, meanwhile, will have to make do without Michael Johnson. Jon Drummond, Tim Harden, Tim Montgomery and Dennis Mitchell cruised to an easy win in their heat, finishing in 38.58. Canada, the only team capable of challenging the U.S., almost was disqualified when it appeared that anchor Donovan Bailey took the handoff from Bruny Smith out of the exchange zone. Despite a yellow flag being raised, Canada was not disqualified. Lewis, seeking his record 10th gold medal, hasn't been named to the relay team yet, despite an injury to Leroy Burrell. But it appears likely he will be added to the team later Friday, when Coach Erv Hunt analyzes video of this morning's race. Mitchell, who has been an outspoken critic of Lewis, said he would give up the anchor leg to Lewis. "I'm not saying I'd be happy about it, but as a team captain, I'd do it for the good of the team," he said. Meanwhile, Michael Johnson, who completed his historic 200-400 double gold Thursday by shattering the world record in the 200, pulled out of the relay Friday with an injured hamstring. "I have a little tightness in the lower right hamstring," he said. "There are a lot of guys capable of running, and I don't want to hurt the chances for a gold medal. There are a lot of others who are capable." Johnson will leave Atlanta one gold medal short of his goal. "I'm disappointed I can't run in the 4x400, but I guess you can't get everything," he said. "I'm confident the four guys who go out will bring home the gold." The 1,600 team won its first-round heat Friday with Anthuan Maybank, Derek Mills, LaMont Smith and Jason Rouser. Johnson had planned to sit out that race. World record holder Butch Reynolds is scheduled to run in later rounds. The women's 400 relay team advanced to the finals and the 1,600 competes in the first round later tonight. Josh Dubow
What's On Tap
The suspense about who will win the men's basketball gold this Saturday night evaporated before the games were even awarded to Atlanta. Ever since the International Olympic Committee permitted NBA stars into the Olympics, it was a foregone conclusion that the U.S. would run away with the top spot. This year's collection of NBA multimillionaires hasn't blown away or awed the opposition like the original group. But nonetheless, no team has seriously threatened the Dream Team, and don't expect Yugoslavia to change that. Like the U.S., Yugoslavia goes into the gold medal match undefeated. Unlike the Dream Team's 12 NBA all-stars , the Yugoslavian team has just three NBA players, none of whom have played in an all-star game. Charlotte's Vlade Divac leads Yugoslavia, along with Toronto's Zan Tabac and Miami's Sasha Daniliovic. In other events Saturday, Andre Agassi, trying to bounce back from disappointing early losses at the French Open and Wimbledon, goes for the gold medal against Spain's Sergi Bruguera. Agassi has benefited from a field weakened by upsets, injuries and the absence of many top players who chose to skip the Olympics to concentrate on the U.S. Open. While others viewed the Olympics as just another tournament, but without the prize money, Agassi saw them as the "fifth grand slam." The games hold special meaning for Agassi, whose father, Mike, boxed for Iran in the 1948 and 1952 Olympics. When asked what a gold medal would mean to his dad, who has stayed away from the competition because it makes him too nervous, Agassi responded with a smile: "I imagine that would probably be the greatest accomplishment I could have in this sport Josh Dubow
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