A court in eastern Poland has issued an arrest warrant for a Minnesota man sought in a Nazi massacre, opening the way for Poland to seek his extradition from the United States, the AP reports. The AP had previously identified the man as 98-year-old Michael Karkoc, an ex-commander in an SS-led unit that burned Polish villages and killed civilians in World War II. Earlier this week, prosecutors from the Institute of National Remembrance said evidence shows that American citizen Michael K. was a commander of a unit in the SS-led Ukrainian Self Defense Legion that raided Polish villages. They sought an arrest warrant for him from a court in eastern Poland, a step toward extradition.
Judge Dariusz Abamowicz told the AP Wednesday the regional court in Lublin issued a warrant after concluding that there was "high probability" the suspect committed the war crimes listed by prosecutors. Karkoc must be present in court in Poland because the country does not recognize trial in absentia. It was not immediately clear when Poland's Justice Ministry would send the extradition motion to US justice authorities. Messages seeking comment left with the US Department of State and the US Attorney's Office in Minnesota were not immediately returned Wednesday. Poland's justice officials have not released the suspect's last name, in line with Poland's privacy laws. (Read more Michael Karkoc stories.)