Italy homicide charge for U.S. soldier



ROME, Italy (CNN) -- An Italian judge Wednesday indicted a U.S. soldier on homicide charges for the fatal shooting of an Italian intelligence agent participating in a hostage rescue operation in Iraq nearly two years ago.

The trial date has been set for April 17, Rome prosecutor Franco Ionta told CNN. The soldier will be tried in absentia and there has been no request to have him extradited, Ionta said.

Italian intelligence agent Nicola Calipari was killed in the March 4, 2005 incident shortly after he secured the release of journalist Giuliana Sgrena, who had been held by insurgents in Iraq.

U.S. soldiers opened fire on their vehicle as it approached a checkpoint en route to Baghdad International Airport.

Sgrena and the driver were injured in the shooting.

A U.S. investigation into the incident found that the vehicle was traveling about 50 mph and failed to stop at a checkpoint when ordered to do so.

It concluded that no disciplinary action should be taken against any soldier involved in the shooting.

However, an Italian investigation found that no clear warning signs were given to the vehicle carrying Sgrena, and found that stress and inexperience among U.S. soldiers played a role in the shooting.

The Italian report also disputed that the vehicle was traveling at 50 mph, saying it was more like 20 to 30 mph and noted there were no speed limit signs posted on the road.

CNN Rome Bureau Chief Alessio Vinci contributed to this report


I'll be interested if Giuliana Sgrena testifies and if she creates still another version of events this time around.
If the US soldier claims a defence of mistaken identity, maybe he'll get off scot-free?


This isn't a very hard case to solve either just ask the reporter if they are going to continue to speed through checkpoints in iraq in the future. If they answer no then they realize that they are retarded and if they say yes give them a plane ticket back to iraq with a coupon for a free car rental and money for a tank of gas.

The septics will do the usual 'fog of war' thing.
Surprised the Eyeties never prosecuted the pilots that brought down the cable car.

Times have changed perhaps.
I wasnt there so I dont know what happened but assuming the vehicle did fail to stop for a clearly marked checkpoint, no surprise the yanks shot it up and the blame lies with the driver of the vehicle.

If however the checkpoint was not clearly marked and no clear order to slow down/halt was given, then this is a case of trigger happy although I would be interested to see exactly what charge they hope to prove.

Whichever way it went down, it was a very unfortunate incident though hardly surprising.

I would not hold my breath for the yanks to give up the soldier in question and they are probably correct in their approach. If it had been a Brit, Tony B Liar would have handed him over and issued a full apology to the Italians by now, whatever the facts of the case.


If I remember at the time she changed her story a few times and general consensus was the squaddie was right and she was an idiot. Generally a comms problem was the reason. Hardly reason to go and hang a squaddie - he didn't get himself kidnapped now did he.

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