[Marxism] Italy and US at odds in Italian agent shooting probe - Irish Examiner 25/04/2005
michele at maui.net
Mon Apr 25 19:32:05 MDT 2005
[Il Messaggero quoted Prosecutor Franco Ionta as saying he hoped that
with the end of the US-Italian probe, the prosecutors would be able to
take delivery of the Toyota to examine it.]
None of the other papers I have seen, Washington Post, International
Herald Tribune, AP and BBC News are carrying this item as part of their
reports - nor has there been any explanation in any of these accounts as
to why the Italian investigators have been refused access to the Toyota
they were traveling in, nor any details as to why the two Italians on
the investigating body have returned to Rome. AP had four short
25/04/2005 - 1:33:45 PM
Italy and US at odds in Italian agent shooting probe
Italy and the US disagree over the findings of an investigation into the
accidental shooting death by US soldiers of an Italian intelligence
agent in Baghdad, according to Italian news reports.
One report said Italian experts on the panel were refusing to sign off
on the US conclusions.
The agent, Nicola Calipari, has been hailed as a national hero in Italy
since he died on March 4 as he tried to shield a freed Italian hostage
he was accompanying to the Iraqi capital’s airport shortly after she was
released by her kidnappers.
Without citing sources, Rome daily Il Messaggero said the American
conclusions vindicated the US soldiers.
From the first hours after the shooting by US soldiers stationed at a
temporary checkpoint along an airport road, Rome and Washington have
differed over what led to the killing.
Another Italian agent in the car, as well as the freed hostage,
journalist Giuliana Sgrena, have insisted that the car wasn’t speeding
and that the soldiers gave no warning.
Washington has insisted their rented Toyota Corolla was going too fast
and that adequate warning was given to try to make the car stop.
Two Italians – a diplomat and military official – were invited to join
the US probe.
“The checks and the interrogations carried out in nearly two months of
work didn’t succeed in healing the clash on the key point of the affair:
the warnings given by the American military forces before shooting,”
Milan daily Corriere della Sera said.
Both Corriere and Rome daily La Repubblica said Italy was deciding what
line to take in view of the differences.
But Rome daily Il Messaggero reported the two Italian experts had
decided not to sign off on the conclusions.
The Italians “didn’t accept any compromise and have abandoned the common
(working) table”, Il Messaggero said.
“We still hoping for a combined report,” said Ben Duffy, a US Embassy
spokesman in Rome, when asked about the Italian news reports. “We
haven’t given up at that.”
Earlier this month, the US State Department denied a report by US
television network NBC that the investigation absolved Americans of
responsibility, saying the investigation was still ongoing.
Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, a staunch US ally, faces strong
popular opposition at home to his decision to send 3,000 troops to Iraq
after the US-led invasion. Pressure to pull out the troops mounted after
Calipari was killed.
Finalising the report comes at a delicate time for the conservative
premier, who is currently leading a caretaker government after his
centre-right coalition was wracked by squabbling. Berlusconi will go
before Parliament later this week for crucial confidence votes.
Italian Foreign Ministry spokesman Pasquale Terracciano said the
ministry had no information on the probe’s report. Last week he called
earlier reports of disagreements between investigators “speculation” but
acknowledged there were conflicting accounts of what happened.
Italian state TV reported last night that the two Italian members of the
investigation had returned to Rome from Iraq.
On Saturday, US Ambassador Mel Sembler told reporters that the
investigation was about to be wrapped up.
Rome prosecutors are conducting their own probe. Il Messaggero quoted
Prosecutor Franco Ionta as saying he hoped that with the end of the
US-Italian probe, the prosecutors would be able to take delivery of the
Toyota to examine it.
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