[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Thursday, 25 October 2007, 11:36 GMT 12:36 UK
Italians 'cannot try US soldier'
Nicola Calipari
Nicola Calipari's death was mourned across Italy
An Italian court has thrown out a case against a US soldier charged over the killing of an Italian intelligence agent in Iraq in March 2005.

The court ruled that Italy had no jurisdiction in the case against Mario Lozano, who was on trial in absentia.

The agent, Nicola Calipari, was shot dead on his way to Baghdad airport after securing the release of a kidnapped Italian reporter.

Spc Lozano denies any wrongdoing, saying he had no choice but to fire.

His defence lawyers argued that an Italian court had no right to try Spc Lozano as soldiers in Iraq were under the exclusive jurisdiction of their own country.

The ruling by the Rome judge can be appealed.

Strained relations

Italy and the US have drawn very different conclusions over the shooting and Washington refused to hand Spc Lozano over for trial.

US soldiers opened fire as the car Nicola Calipari was in approached a roadblock.

The US military said the vehicle was travelling too fast, alarming soldiers, who feared it was an insurgent attack.

Italian officials said the car was travelling at normal speed and accused the US military of failing to signal there was a checkpoint.

Spc Lozano, both countries agree, fired the fatal shots.

Nicola Calipari was escorting Giuliana Sgrena, an Italian journalist who had just been freed by kidnappers. She was wounded in the incident, along with an Italian secret agent - Andrea Carpani - who was driving the car.

Reacting to the judge's decision Ms Sgrena told reporters outside the court: "We've given up trying to find the truth about what happened to Nicola Calipari. The arrogance of America, which never wanted this trial, has won."



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific