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2007-02-09

Italian Judge Orders US Soldier to Stand Trial for Killing of Italian Intelligence Agent Nicola Calipari

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A U.S. soldier has been ordered to stand trial in Italy for the deadly shooting of Italian intelligence agent Nicola Calipari in Iraq nearly two years ago. Calipari was escorting the Italian reporter Giuliana Sgrena out of Iraq following her release from a month-long abduction. The soldier — Mario Lozano of the 69th Infantry Regiment in New York — is likely to be tried in absentia. Sgrena joins with her reaction. [includes rush transcript]

In Italy, a U.S. soldier has been ordered to stand trial for the deadly shooting of Italian intelligence agent Nicola Calipari in Iraq nearly two years ago. Calipari was escorting the Italian reporter Giuliana Sgrena out of Iraq following her release from a month-long abduction. The soldier — Mario Lozano of the 69th Infantry Regiment in New York — is likely to be tried in absentia.

On Thursday, the Italian Foreign Ministry urged the United States to cooperate on the case. U.S. authorities have so far refused to give more details about the soldier and have refused to share documents concerning the shooting.

The Pentagon maintains Calipari’s killing was an accident and it considers the case closed. In a statement Mario Lozano said "My side of the story was accurately portrayed in the Army’s report. I simply thought it was the enemy." Giuliana Sgrena joins us on the phone from Finland. She was in the car with Nicola Calipari and wrote about her experience in the book "Friendly Fire: The Remarkable Story of a Journalist Kidnapped in Iraq."

  • Giuliana Sgrena. Veteran foreign correspondent for the Italian newspaper Il Manifesto. She was held hostage by the Iraqi resistance in Iraq and survived an ambush-style attack by US forces immediately after being freed. A Senior Italian intelligence official, Nicola Calipari, was killed in that attack. She wrote about the incident in her book "Friendly Fire: The Remarkable Story of a Journalist Kidnapped in Iraq."

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

JUAN GONZALEZ: In Italy, a US soldier has been ordered to stand trial for the deadly shooting of Italian intelligence agent Nicola Calipari in Iraq nearly two years ago. Calipari was escorting the Italian reporter Giuliana Sgrena out of Iraq following her release from a month-long abduction. The soldier, Mario Lozano of the 69th Infantry Regiment in New York, is likely to be tried in absentia.

AMY GOODMAN: We turn now to Giuliana Sgrena. On Thursday, the Italian Foreign Ministry urged the United States to cooperate on the case. US authorities have so far refused to give more details about the soldier and have refused to share documents concerning the shooting. Giuliana Sgrena joins us now from Finland, where she’s visiting. Your response to this latest development?

GIULIANA SGRENA: Sorry, I didn’t hear very well. You can repeat the question?

AMY GOODMAN: Your response to this latest development?

GIULIANA SGRENA: The latest development for us, for me and for the family of Calipari are satisfying, of course, because the Italian justice showed the independence of their inquiry. And deciding to go to a trial for —- with the indictment of Mario Lozano shows that Italy wanted to remove the impunity of the United States soldier for what they do in other countries like Iraq. So we are satisfied, because we think that maybe through this trial we can get, if not all the truth, at least a part of the truth. Of course, we know that there will be no collaboration of the US authorities and Mario Lozano will not come to Italy, but we think, anyway, that it will be useful for going on and clarify some aspects of what -—

AMY GOODMAN: Giuliana Sgrena, we’ll have to leave it there, and I thank you very much being with us, veteran foreign correspondent for the Italian newspaper Il Manifesto. Her book is called Friendly Fire.

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