US military men found not guilty of killing Italian special agent in Iraq

The US command lays the blame for the incident on Italy

US soldiers, who fired at the vehicle, on which Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena, a released hostage of Iraqi captivity, was being taken to the airport of Baghdad, were found not guilty of killing Italian special agent Nicola Calipari. The conclusion has been made by American law-enforcement authorities involved in the investigation of the incident, which occurred on March 4th.

No one of the military men has made a transgression of the law and will not be punished, a spokesman for the US command said.

Italy has already expressed its disagreement with the results of the investigation, having refused to approve the conclusion of US specialists in the joint committee for the investigation of the incident.

Both American and Italian sides agree that the US soldiers did not intend to kill the Italian agent. However, the US side lays the blame for the incident on Italy. The Pentagon believes that American servicemen fired at the vehicle on account of the fact that Italian special forces had not warned US forces about the forthcoming release of the Italian hostage in Iraq. It was also said that the car was moving too fast and did not stop upon the patrol's request, RIA Novosti reports.

Italian citizens, who survived in the incident, asserted that their car was moving at a low speed, and the fire was opened after the driver of the Italian vehicle stopped the car.

It is noteworthy that the incident resulted in a sudden growth of anti-military sentiments in Italy, which created considerable problems for the chairman of the Italian government, Silvio Berlusconi. His implicit support of US-led actions in Iraq did not enjoy great popularity in Italy; the killing of an Italian special agent by American military men intensified the sentiments. The prime minister even stated that Italy was going to start withdrawing its troops from Iraq. Berlusconi changed his mind, however, after he had had a phone conversation with US President George W. Bush. It will be a lot harder for Berlusconi to prove the correctness of his decision after the conclusion from US investigators, which became so demeaning for Italy.

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Author`s name Olga Savka