I stirred up quite a bit of trouble last time I posted on this topic. But now Mario Lozano, the US soldier who killed Nicola Calipari as he was rescuing Italian hostage Giulana Sgrena from her captors in Iraq, is blaming Sgrena herself for the agent's death:
"Because of her I caused another family grief. It's her fault, I didn't set out to hurt this man; I was just doing my job," Mr Lozano, who had been in Iraq for around six months at the time, said...You poor, poor little boy. You are obviously the victim here.
"It is scary because now I can't leave my country," Mr Lozano said in the Manhattan office of his US lawyer, Ed Hayes. "I feel like a prisoner in my own country, a prisoner of war practically."
Lozano has admitted to making a video of the scene just after Calipari died. He says he did it because he anticipated legal problems. That strikes me as a very bizzare thing for a US soldier at a checkpoint in Iraq to do: is this a widespread practice, I'm wondering?
Anyone interested in this post should probably read Sgrena's side of the story as well:
According to Lozano, the car was going too fast. The investigation verified that at the moment of maximum velocity the car was going 65 kilometers (39 miles) an hour.The Italian trial of Lozano in absentia has been delayed yet again due to "technical issues".
Lozano claims that when the car was 100 meters from the “checkpoint” (the entire American media speaks of a “checkpoint,” though in reality, it was a mobile patrol located away from the road, behind a curve), he began to give warnings for us to stop: at first a light, then at 80 meters warning shots, until finally, when the car was 60 meters away, he took aim.
The tests by the judiciary instead maintain that the first barrage (altogether, there were three) was fired when the car was 100 to 130 meters from the patrol.
Finally, Lozano claims to have fired in front of the car, then at the tires and at the engine. The tests instead determined that of the 58 shots that struck the car, 57 were aimed at the passengers, and only the final one at the engine, when the car was already stopped.
Therefore, the experts say, he shot to kill. Thus, the charge of voluntary homicide.