Spanish court orders arrest of US soldiers for Iraq killing

A Spanish High Court judge ordered the arrest and extradition of three U.S. soldiers for killing a Spanish television cameraman during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Spanish court orders arrest of US soldiers for Iraq killing


A Spanish High Court judge ordered on Thursday the arrest and extradition of three U.S. soldiers for killing a Spanish television cameraman during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

On April 8, 2003, Sergeant Thomas Gibson, Captain Philip Wolford and Lieutenant Colonel Phil de Camp fired a shell at the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad, killing Jose Couso, a cameraman for Telecinco, and Reuters cameraman Taras Protsyuk, a Ukranian.

The United States has said it will not extradite the three soldiers, who were cleared of "wrongdoing" by a U.S. military investigation.

Spanish courts have twice investigated and twice closed the case, but on July 13 the Supreme Court ordered it opened for a third probe after Couso's family appealed. The Spanish courts have only looked into the Couso case, not into Protsyuk's death.

The soldiers say they fired because they thought they allegedly saw a spotter who was guiding in so-called hostile fire. The U.S. military found the troops acted within their rules of engagement.

In 2008 a Spanish court found that Couso was killed as a result of an act of war and closed the case. The case was reopened later only to be thrown out again when a court said the investigating magistrate had presented one-sided evidence.

In the arrest order on Thursday Judge Santiago Pedraz wrote that he was calling for the soldiers' extradition because of the seriousness of the charges and because the United States had not cooperated in the investigation, refusing to allow the soldiers to be questioned by Spanish judicial officials.

Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 29 Temmuz 2010, 18:06
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