Italy begins U.S. soldier's murder trial
Apr 17,2007 00:00 by UPI

ROME - Italy began a murder trial in Rome Tuesday of an absent U.S. soldier who allegedly killed an Italian secret agent in Iraq two years ago.

Mario Lozano, 35, is accused of killing the agent by shooting into a car that failed to slow for a U.S. roadblock. Military Intelligence Service officer Nicola Calipari died in the incident.

Calipari was escorting a newly released Italian journalist who had been released by insurgents. Their driver apparently panicked when 10 U.S. soldiers flashed a spotlight, shone a green laser onto the car's windscreen and fired warning shots for it to slow down.

Shots were fired when the car continued toward the roadblock at 50 mph, the ANSA news agency said.

After conducting an inquiry, the U.S. State Department government determined Lozano followed standard rules of engagement and refused to allow Lozano to attend the trial.

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