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Italian Judge Postpones Trial of US Soldier


An Italian judge has adjourned the trial in absentia of a U.S. soldier charged in the 2005 killing of an Italian intelligence agent in Iraq, after the defense questioned Italy's jurisdiction in the case.

The court made a decision Tuesday to postpone the trial of U.S. Army Specialist Mario Lozano to September 27.

Lozano faces charges of voluntary murder and attempted murder in the shooting death of Italian agent Nicola Calipari. Calipari was shot while traveling by car on Baghdad's airport road, shortly after helping secure the release of kidnapped Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena.

Defense lawyer Alberto Biffani argued that all multi-national force personnel are under the jurisdiction of the country that sent them. Biffani replaced a court appointed lawyer just before the trial was to begin on May 14.

Sgrena's lawyer, Alessandro Gamberini, disputed the defense's argument.

In April, a court in Rome adjourned an earlier trial session to May 14.

The U.S. military has exonerated the 37-year-old marine who said he was doing his duty. It says the Italian car was traveling too fast and failed to heed a warning to slow down at the checkpoint.

Italian authorities have said that the car was traveling at normal speed. It has accused the U.S. troops of failing to signal the presence of a checkpoint.

Some information for this report AP and AFP.

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