Defense lawyer says Italy lacks jurisdiction over US soldier in murder trial

Defense lawyer says Italy lacks jurisdiction over US soldier in murder trial

[JURIST] A lawyer for US Army Spc. Mario Lozano [defense website; Wikipedia profile], who is being tried in absentia [JURIST report] for the murder of Italian intelligence agent Nicola Calipari [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] and attempted murders of agent Andrea Carpani and Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena [Wikipedia profile], told a Rome court Tuesday that Italy lacks jurisdiction in the case. In his opening remarks, Alberto Biffani said that members of multinational forces are under sole jurisdiction of the country that sent them. Following Biffani's comments, Judge Angelo Gargani adjourned the case until late September, when the prosecution will make a rebuttal. The Italian agents and journalist were shot at while entering a US checkpoint [JURIST report] on the way to the Baghdad airport after the agents secured the release of Sgrena from Iraqi kidnappers.

Although Italy has not officially asked for Lozano's extradition, the US has made it clear that any such request would be rejected. Lozano has denied all charges against him [JURIST report], maintaining that he fired upon the Italian vehicle in self-defense after numerous attempts to signal the vehicle to stop when entering his checkpoint failed. AP has more.