Austria to investigate report of Nazi war criminal's death

Other News Materials 5 February 2009 14:11 (UTC +04:00)

Austria's justice ministry said Thursday it would verify media reports that wanted Austrian Nazi war criminal Aribert Heim died already in 1992, reported dpa.

"We have to check the facts first before taking a decision," a ministry spokeswoman told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

Germany's ZDF television channel reported Wednesday that the former concentration camp doctor died of cancer in the Egyptian capital Cairo on August 10, 1992, according to information it discovered together with the New York Times.

A criminal case against Heim for murder and genocide is pending in Austria.

Under pressure from the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Jerusalem, in 2007, Austria put out a reward of 50,000 euros (64,400 dollars) for information leading to Heim's arrest.

"The search will remain open until it has been verified that he is dead," said Armin Halm, spokesman of Austria's Criminal Intelligence Service.

As an SS doctor in the concentration camp of Mauthausen, Heim is accused of killing and torturing hundreds of inmates by various methods, including lethal injections into the hearts of his victims.