Middle East News
Spanish judge reopens case against US soldiers over death in Iraq
Oct 5, 2011, 13:17 GMT
Madrid - A Spanish judge on Wednesday reopened a case against three US soldiers accused of unlawfully killing a Spanish cameraman during the Iraq War.
Jose Couso, who worked for the television station Telecinco, was killed when a US tank fired at a Baghdad hotel where journalists were staying in April 2003.
The United States has refused previous requests from judge Santiago Pedraz to extradite Lieutenant-Colonel Philip de Camp, Captain Philip Wolford and Sergeant Thomas Gibson, arguing that they acted correctly in a situation of war.
The National Court has shelved the case twice, but Pedraz reopened it on Wednesday, following a visit to the site of Couso's death in January.
Pedraz now also wants to interrogate Buford Blount and David Perkins, two US army officers senior to De Camp, Wolford and Gibson in the military hierarchy.
The third infantry division that the five belonged to had been tasked with preventing international media from reporting on US military operations in Baghdad, Pedraz said.
They knew that civilians were staying at the Hotel Palestine, which was in a civilian zone, according to the judge.
He ordered De Camp, Wolford and Gibson to pay a guarantee of a million euros (1.3 million dollars) for the eventuality that they would be ordered to pay damages in the case.
Couso and a Ukrainian cameraman for the Reuters news agency were killed in the attack.
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