A former Nazi commander was arrested in Minneapolis on Monday. Now he may be extradited to Poland to face war crime charges.
Michael K., identified by The Associated Press as Michael Karkoc, 98, led an SS unit that burned Polish villages and killed civilians in World War II, prosecutors said.
His family denied his involvement in any war crimes and calls Poland's announcement "scandalous and baseless slanders."
Prosecutor Robert Janicki said Karkoc commanded the Ukranian Self Defense Legion. This came four years after the Associated Press published a story arguing Karkoc was the commander, citing his former soldiers.
The original AP story on Karkoc was based on eyewitness and Nazi military rosters. Some witnesses said Karkoc's unit lit buildings on fire and gunned down more than 40 people.
There's nothing in the historical record that indicates my father had any role whatsoever in any type of war crime activity.
Karkoc's family continues to deny the allegations.
If found guilty, Karkoc could face life in prison.
Karkoc's family said he suffers from Alzheimer's disease. But Efraim Zuroff, a historian and Nazi hunter for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said many old Nazis try to look as sick as possible to avoid arrest.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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