US has 'no plans' to make soldier available for trial

An Italian judge today ordered a US soldier to stand trial for the fatal shooting of an Italian intelligence agent at a checkpoint in Baghdad, the prosecutor said.

An Italian judge today ordered a US soldier to stand trial for the fatal shooting of an Italian intelligence agent at a checkpoint in Baghdad, the prosecutor said.

However, in Washington, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said there are no plans to make Mario Lozano available for the trial.

Lozano is indicted for murder and attempted murder in the death of Nicola Calipari, who was shot on March 4, 2005, on his way to the Baghdad airport shortly after securing the release of an Italian journalist who had been kidnapped in the Iraqi capital, prosecutor Pietro Saviotti said.

Another agent, who was driving the car, and the journalist, Giuliana Sgrena, were wounded.

Sgrena said she was satisfied with the judge’s decision. “It was what we have asked for,” she said.

Judge Sante Spinaci set Lozano’s trial date for April 17. According to the prosecutors, the judge said in his ruling that Lozano can be tried for “political murder,” because Calipari was a civil servant and his slaying damaged Italy’s interests.

Sgrena’s lawyer, Alessandro Gamberini, said the judge agreed to attach a civil lawsuit against the US Defense Department.

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