Italy Disputes U.S. Report on Agent's Death
"ROME, May 2 -- Italian investigators said Monday that nervousness and inexperience among U.S. troops contributed to the March 4 killing of an Italian intelligence agent at a roadblock as he tried to take a freed kidnap victim to the Baghdad airport.
In a 67-page report, the Italians countered conclusions released by American military authorities on Saturday that the agent's car was speeding and failed to respond to signals to stop. The soldiers acted properly, the U.S. report concluded, and will not face disciplinary measures.
'The Italian representatives, on the base of evidence that it has been possible to acquire, have not identified elements to suppose that the tragedy was willful,' the Italian report said. 'It is likely that tension, inexperience and stress led some of the U.S. troops to react instinctively and with little control.'
Officials of the government of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said the killing of agent Nicola Calipari would not affect Italy's close relations with the Bush administration. But the report, which followed a joint investigation of the incident, was peppered with criticisms of American action in Iraq generally and the U.S. response to the shooting in particular.
The report was released here the day after the full classified version of the American report, released in censored form on Saturday, showed up on the Internet. U.S. officials said that it contained information about tactics and casualties that could endanger U.S. troops."
By Daniel Williams and Ann Scott Tyson
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, May 3, 2005; Page A16