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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 April, 2005, 14:10 GMT 15:10 UK
Papers reject Calipari death finding
Italian press graphic

Italian newspapers are unhappy at the reported outcome of the US investigation into the killing of Italian secret agent Nicola Calipari at Baghdad airport during the freeing of former hostage Giuliana Sgrena.

"Without truth" sums up the headline in an editorial written by Ms Sgrena herself in the communist daily, Il Manifesto.

"The inquiry has achieved nothing," she says. "After the apologies comes the slap in the face."

"The greatest disappointment would be if our authorities were to accept this insult without reacting," Ms Sgrena adds. "All the words said about Calipari would turn into hypocrisy...and Nicola would have been our government's hero, just for one day."

The paper also prints a sardonic cartoon showing bullets piercing Mr Calipari's gravestone, under the caption "Friendly Fire 2".

In an interview with La Repubblica, Ms Sgrena describes the report's outcome as "incredible". "Calipari is being blamed for what happened," she says and urges public opinion to rally behind her view.

"It is important that the judges continue...we need pressure from public opinion," she says. "I know that there is already a demand for an independent international commission of investigation, there is an initiative of Euro MPs and Nobel prize winners who are urging the truth about what happened and what is happening to Iraqi civilians every day."

Rome to continue probe

Under the headline "Not guilty", the Turin-based La Stampa says that Rome does not accept the conclusions of the investigation.

"As far as Italy is concerned, we are not willing to sacrifice the truth about Nicola Calipari's death on the altar of political and diplomatic relations with our American ally," the paper says. "Perhaps the government's embarrassment and current silence are due to the awareness of having turned into a dead end."

The paper quotes Italian intelligence sources as saying that the US decision to announce the report's findings without consulting the Italian authorities could force Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to publicly oppose the US findings.

"The consequences could be devastating," an intelligence officer said.

Il Corriere della Sera thinks the Italian government may have been outwitted over the timing of the report's release. "The USA wrong-foots the Italian government and reveals the outcome of the investigation into the death of the 007 during the freeing of Giuliana Sgrena," it says.

"The Rome public prosecutor's office too, which is also investigating the case as a wilful murder but has yet to receive the names of the soldiers involved from Washington, has at the moment a version which differs with the American one," the paper adds.

In the event that the names are not revealed the prosecution has not ruled out "the possibility of continuing the process in absentia", the paper adds.

The report adds that the Toyota Corolla, in which Mr Calipari and Ms Sgrena were driving at the time of the shooting, is arriving in Rome on Tuesday.

"The car's arrival is a signal that...the Italian investigation continues," it says.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaus abroad.


US clears troops over Italy death
25 Apr 05 |  Americas

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