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May 14,2007
Soldier says phone video clears him
by UPI

ROME - An American soldier accused in Italy of killing a secret agent in Iraq said mobile phone video he shot exonerates him.

Mario Luis Lozano, who is being tried in absentia in Rome, is charged with one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder in a March 4, 2005, checkpoint shooting in Iraq. On Monday, his trial was adjourned until July 10, ANSA reported.

Lozano has said he was following the rules when he opened fire on a car approaching the checkpoint, and he told the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera the video taken after the shooting proves it.

"The images leave no room for doubt. The car was very close to the checkpoint when I fired a dozen shots at most," he said.

Italian Military Intelligence Service officer Nicola Calipari was killed as he accompanied a released Italian hostage to the Baghdad airport. U.S. officials cleared the checkpoint soldiers in the shooting, but Italy is prosecuting Lozano.

Copyright ©  2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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