Rule of Law

From Holden:

Sucks to be an ally, don’t it?

Rome prosecutors said Wednesday they had sought help from the United States in locating an American soldier believed to have shot an Italian secret service agent at a checkpoint in Iraq last year.

The United States, however, has not responded to Italian requests for details of the soldier’s identity and hometown, prosecutor Erminio Amelio said.

Amelio identified the soldier as Mario Lozano, and said prosecutors planned to charge him in the death of Italian agent Nicola Calipari, who was killed by U.S. gunfire as he was heading to Baghdad airport on March 4 after securing the release of an Italian hostage.


“The U.S. never answered any of our requests. We did not receive any cooperation,” Amelio told The Associated Press. “They have never answered, and we don’t think they ever will.”


He added that Italian paramilitary police had been asked to locate Lozano so prosecutors could notify him of the end of their investigation, a preliminary step before requesting an indictment on murder and attempted murder charges.

Amelio said the soldier’s court-appointed defense lawyer in Italy had already been notified that the probe had ended and said that if Italian authorities declare the soldier “untraceable” he could be tried in absentia.


The Italian government report, issued in May, blamed U.S. military authorities for failing to signal there was a military checkpoint ahead on the road. It also contended that stress, inexperience and fatigue played a role.

The Americans insisted that the car had been going fast enough to alarm the soldiers. The Italians said the vehicle was traveling slowly.

Police and ballistic experts assigned by Rome prosecutors to examine the car have concluded it had been traveling slower than the U.S. military claimed. However, they agreed with U.S. findings that only one soldier fired at the car.