Goni, an Argentine researcher and journalist said he feels "a strong sense of relief" after a three year battle in Italian courts ended with convicted Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke's lawsuit against him being thrown out. Goni was referring to a Milan court's March 23 decision to reject a claim by Priebke, who had sued Goni and his Italian publisher for 50,000 euros for libel. The court not only tossed out Priebke's claim as unfounded but assessed him legal costs of nearly $11,000.
Priebke is known for filing lawsuits, and Italian newspapers and magazines rejected many other articles for fear of being sued byPriebke or his lawyer, Lorenzo Borre, Goni said. Priebke was discovered in 1995 living in Bariloche, a city in Argentina's western Andes Mountains, by an ABC-TV team of reporter Sam Donaldson and producers Harry Phillips and Delilah Herbst.
He was deported to Italy, where he was found responsible for thedeaths of 335 people in what has come to be known as theArdeatine Caves Massacre. Priebke and a group of SS officers rounded up Jews and Italian partisans in Rome, led them to the caves outside the city and shot and killed them with bullets to the back of the neck.
Priebke was given a life sentence, which he has been serving under house arrest in the home of his attorney, Borre. He has become an assiduous reader of articles about himself, and he and Borre have become infamous for their spate of lawsuits.