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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 October 2005, 15:27 GMT 16:27 UK
Spain orders arrest of US troops
Journalists carry wounded colleague through the Palestine Hotel
The incident was a shocking end to the war for journalists
A Spanish judge has issued an international arrest order for three US soldiers over the shelling of a Baghdad hotel that killed a cameraman.

Judge Santiago Pedraz issued the warrant for Sgt Shawn Gibson, Capt Philip Wolford and Lt Col Philip de Camp, of the US 3rd Infantry Division.

Jose Couso, of Spanish TV network Telecinco, died in April 2003 when a US tank fired on the Palestine Hotel.

Reuters news agency cameraman Taras Protsyuk, a Ukrainian, was also killed.

The National Court agreed to consider filing criminal charges against three members of the tank crew two years ago, acting on a request from Mr Couso's family.

'No co-operation'

Speaking on Wednesday, the judge said he had issued the arrest order because of a lack of judicial co-operation from the US in the case.

The family of Mr Couso said they were delighted at the news, and that they now hoped justice would be done.

US officials say the tank crew believed they were being shot at when they opened fire, although TV footage of the incident did not record any incoming fire.

The incident was witnessed on TV around the world on the day before the fall of the regime of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, as the Palestine was the base for almost all the foreign media crews in Baghdad.

Earlier on the same day, a correspondent for the Arabic TV broadcaster al-Jazeera was killed when US missiles hit the network's office in Baghdad.

Following the incident, then-US Secretary of State Colin Powell said a US review of the incident had found the use of force was justified.


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