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Spanish court upholds arrest warrants for US soldiers in killing of journalists in Iraq

[JURIST] Spain's National Court Friday upheld arrest warrants for three US soldiers charged with the 2003 killing of Spanish journalist Jose Couso [advocacy website] in Iraq. Couso was killed while filming for Spain's Telecinco [media website in Spanish] network from a balcony in Baghdad's Palestine Hotel. Prosecutors for the National Court challenged the warrants [JURIST report], which were issued last week [JURIST report], saying the Spanish court did not have jurisdiction over the matter and also because the warrants had procedural flaws. National Court Judge Santiago Pedraz disagreed, however, and denied contentions that the warrants were a "reprisal" for the lack of cooperation by US officials into a Spanish investigation of the killing. Reporters Without Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists [advocacy websites] decided to assist Couso's family in pursuing the criminal case against the three US soldiers after the Pentagon cleared the men from any wrongdoing [Reporters Without Borders report] in Couso's death. The soldiers cannot be arrested on US soil, but could face detention if they travel to any country with an extradition treaty with Spain. BBC has more; from Madrid, EFE has local coverage.

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