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Page last updated at 16:48 GMT, Tuesday, 14 July 2009 17:48 UK

Spain drops case over Iraq death

Jose Couso (file image)
Jose Couso was working for Spanish TV network Telecinco when he died

A Spanish court has thrown out charges against three US soldiers over the death of a Spanish journalist in Iraq.

The National Court said that there was no new evidence to suggest that the troops had acted incorrectly in the 2003 incident.

Jose Couso and a Ukrainian cameraman, Taras Protsyuk, were killed when a tank shell was fired at the Palestine hotel in Baghdad, known to house journalists.

A US inquiry in 2004 concluded that the 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 dropped the murder charges against the soldiers last year, ruling there was "insufficient evidence" to continue with the trial.

But investigative magistrate Santiago Pedraz reinstated the case in May, citing new evidence.

In its ruling, the National Court's three-judge panel recommended that the case be closed. There can be no appeal against the ruling.



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