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Family of Nazi criminal who was denied burials say his body is missing

Erich-Priebke-file.jpg

In this Thursday, Dec. 7, 1995 file photo, Former Nazi SS officer Erich Priebke enters the military court in Rome. Priebke, a former Nazi SS captain, was sentenced to life in prison for his role in one of the worst atrocities by German occupiers in Italy during World War II. In 1994, Priebke was extradited to Italy from Argentina and put on trial for his role in the 1944 massacre outside Rome. Nazi forces killed 335 civilians to avenge an attack by resistance fighters that killed 33 members of a Nazi military police unit a day earlier. Priebke admitted shooting two people and rounding up victims, but insisted he was only following orders. (AP)

The case of Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke has taken on another bizarre twist with his family saying it doesn't know where his body is.

Family lawyer Paolo Giachini said Thursday that he and Priebke's family lost track of Priebke's casket Tuesday night, when they tried to celebrate a funeral Mass for him in a church compound in Albano Laziale south of Rome.

At a certain point, he told Sky TG24, a group of about 30 people entered the compound and took the casket out following protests pitting Priebke's right-wing supporters against his detractors.

Giachini said he assumed the Italian military was responsible; Italian state radio said the casket was taken to a nearby military base.

But Giachini said he doesn't know who has the body or where it is.