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Italy judge considers trial for US soldier in shooting of intelligence agent in Iraq

[JURIST] An Italian judge held a hearing Wednesday to determine whether Mario Lozano, a US Army Specialist, should stand trial in connection with the death of Italian intelligence agent Nicola Calipari [BBC profile] at an Iraqi checkpoint in March 2005. Italian prosecutors requested an indictment in June after investigators concluded their probe [JURIST reports] into Calipari's death, finding Lozano responsible for "voluntary homicide." If the court chooses to indict Lozano for manslaughter and attempted double homicide, as prosecutors want, Lozano will almost certainly decline to comply and will be tried in absentia. Lozano's lawyer described the incident as a "tragic accident."

Calipari was shot to death in 2005 while driving to the Baghdad airport after securing the release of Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena from Iraqi kidnappers. A second Italian agent, Andrea Carpani, was also wounded in the shooting by US soldiers that perceived the car as insurgents speeding through a security checkpoint. US and Italian officials have failed to agree [JURIST report] on details surrounding Calipari's death. A US investigation [JURIST report] into the incident cleared US soldiers of any wrongdoing but an initial Italian probe [JURIST report], while also concluding that the killing was accidental, found that there were serious miscommunications among US officials in Iraq, and confusion about the rules of engagement for checkpoints. Reuters has more.

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