STUTTGART, Germany (AP) _ German prosecutors charged a 79-year-old former Nazi soldier Thursday as an accessory in the deaths of 17,000 people, mostly Jews at the Majdanek concentration camp.

The Ukrainian-born man, arrested at his home in Stuttgart in March, is accused of participating in systematic killings at the camp in November 1943, while he was a Nazi officer and Gestapo agent in Lemberg, in present-day Ukraine.

State prosecutors did not identify the man in a statement announcing the charges. However, security sources previously said his name is Alfons Goetzfried.

At the time of his arrest, prosecutors said he admitted personally shooting 500 adults and children. He is accused of helping load weapons for the other killings, prosecutors said.

Despite his alleged direct role in hundreds of the killings, he was charged as an accessory because he did not hold a command position, the statement said.

The investigation against the suspect continues in 45,000 other killings near Lemberg as well as near Lublin, Poland.

The man volunteered for the German army in 1941 and first worked as a horse caretaker. He later became a translator, then a member of the security police in Lemberg in 1943.

He was imprisoned in a Siberian camp for 13 years after World War II, and lived in Kazakstan until 1991, when he moved to Germany and became a citizen.

Prosecutors said at the time of his arrest that he had been tried previously for war crimes by British and Soviet authorities during the 1950s and 1960s. No date has been set for a trial.