Ex-Nazi Commander Sentenced to Life for Italy Killings

A former army officer Josef Scheungraber was convicted by a German court of 10 counts of murder in what could be one of the last trials of Nazi-era crimes.

Munich 's state court found 90-year-old Josef Scheungraber guilty of giving the order to kill 10 Italian civilians in the central Italian town of Falzano di Cortona in 1944.

The court also convicted Scheungraber of attempted murder, and acquitted him of four murder counts.

He was sentenced to life in prison. The verdict is subject to appeal, but it was not immediately clear whether Scheungraber planned to appeal, CNN reports.

Four Italian civilians, including a 74-year-old woman, were shot dead in the street before German soldiers rounded up a further 11 people and herded them into a house and blew it up.

Ten of the 11 died but a 15-year-old boy, Gino Massetti, survived with serious injuries. He gave evidence at the trial.

The court had insufficient evidence to convict Scheungraber, who looked fit as he entered the court room on one crutch and was dressed in a traditional Bavarian cloth jacket, for the four shootings, said a spokeswoman, Reuters reports.

"It was about revenge," said the judge, Manfred Goetzl.

Scheungraber "was the only officer present," Goetzl said. "He was not someone who allowed an important matter to be taken out of his hands."

Scheungraber drew several deep breaths after his conviction was announced and listened to the judge's explanation with his eyes closed.

Meanwhile, Scheungraber's lawyer, Klaus Goebel, said he would appeal what he called "a scandalous verdict." Scheungraber declined to comment.

Court spokeswoman Margarete Noetzel said Scheungraber would not go to prison until the appeals process is finished. This could take months, The Associated Press reports.