Dr Death's son confesses Nazi father Aribert Heim lived in Cairo

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Aribert Heim, one of the most wanted Nazi war criminals known as Dr Death, led a secret life in Cairo under the name of Tarek Hussein Farid, his son has confessed.

His admission in a German television programme sparked a frenzy of activity yesterday as Nazi hunters, governments and bemused Egyptians sought to unravel the final years of a man who eluded a global manhunt for nearly half a century and is said to have become a Muslim convert before his death from cancer in 1992.

German police officers are to travel to Egypt to carry a forensic investigation, including a possible identification of human remains.

Prosecutors said that Heim's son, Rudiger, will avoid criminal charges for sheltering his father from the police because of a German law that excuses people from giving evidence against their family.

Dr Heim is not the only war criminal to have found refuge in Egypt where many other "Nile Nazis" are said to have converted to Islam under the protection of Arab nationalist governments.

He is said to have known of other Nazi officers hiding in Egypt but spent little time with them for fear of drawing attention to himself.

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