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Prosecutors question wounded Italian journalist

[JURIST] Italian prosecutors have questioned Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena, who was wounded late Friday by US forces [JURIST report] after she was released by her kidnappers at the end of a month-long hostage ordeal. An Italian security agent was killed in the incident. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi angrily summoned the US ambassador immediately after the shooting to demand an explanation; President Bush called him afterwards to say that the events were under investigation. Sgrena, who works for the left-wing Italian newspaper Il Manifesto [newspaper website; background materials on the Sgrena kidnapping in English], said in interviews from an Italian military hospital on Saturday and in a Sunday Il Manifesto article entitled La mia verita ("My truth") that contrary to initial reports, the car in which she was a passenger did not speed through any checkpoints and that she may have been targeted by the Americans on purpose [BBC report] because of Italy's willingness to negotiate with hostage-takers. In this case the Italian government has not admitted the payment of any ransom, but Italian newspapers and one government minister have speculated unofficially that a large ransom may have been paid [Reuters report]. It is not yet clear if or when Sgrena or Italian authorities will take formal legal action against US authorities or prsonnel. Bloomberg has more.

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