Better Late Than Never

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ROME: Fifty-four years after a massacre in an Italian cave, two former Nazi S.S. officers have finally been found guilty. Former SS captain Erich Priebke, nearly 84, checked off the names of the 335 men and boys as they were led to slaughter. On Tuesday, a Roman court ordered him to serve five years of a 15-year term. His co-defendant, former S.S. Maj. Karl Hass, 84, who shot at least two of the victims, was given a suspended 10-year, eight-month sentence and allowed to go free. The two were convicted despite Italy's 30-year statute of limitations on murder, a decision which the prosecutor, Antonino Intelisano, said compensated for the relatively light sentences. After seeking a life term for Priebke and 24 years for Hass, Intelisano claimed not to be disappointed. "This is a very wise and balanced verdict," he said. "It meets everybody's expectations. It affirms the principle that there is no statute of limitations on murder for war crimes."