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Page last updated at 14:24 GMT, Thursday, 21 May 2009 15:24 UK

Spain revives US army murder case

Jose Couso (file image)
Jose Couso was working for the Spanish TV network Telecinco

A Spanish judge has reinstated charges against three US soldiers over the death of a Spanish journalist in Iraq.

Judge Santiago Pedraz said there was new evidence to suggest that the three soldiers were responsible for the 2003 death of cameraman Jose Couso.

Mr Couso and Ukrainian cameraman Taras Protsyuk were killed after a tank shell was fired at Baghdad's Palestine Hotel, a known base for journalists.

A US inquiry in 2004 concluded that three soldiers had done nothing wrong.

Sgt Thomas Gibson, Capt Philip Wolford and Lt Col Philip de Camp said they thought they were being shot at when they opened fire.

The National Court in Madrid dropped the murder charges against the soldiers last year, ruling there was "insufficient evidence" to continue with the trial.

But Judge Pedraz, who brought the original charges against the soldiers in 2007, said on Thursday that there was new evidence, including reports by experts and from a former US soldier.

There were "reasonable indications to believe" that the three soldiers were responsible, he said in his ruling.



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