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Spain Reissues Warrants for US Soldiers in Iraq Artillery Deaths


A Spanish judge has reissued arrest warrants for three U.S. soldiers in connection with the death of a Spanish journalist during the early days of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. The judge ordered the warrants Thursday in response to the Spanish Supreme Court's recent decision to open the case for a third investigation.

The three U.S. tank soldiers are wanted in Spain for firing at Baghdad's Palestine Hotel on April 8, 2003. The shelling killed Spanish cameraman Jose Couso and Ukrainian cameraman Taras Protsyuk.

Then-U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said the troops responded to what they believed was hostile fire coming from the hotel. U.S. authorities have refused to extradite the soldiers, who have been cleared of criminal wrongdoing by a U.S. military panel.

Spain's Supreme Court, however, reopened it this month in response to an appeal by Couso's family.

Spanish courts have twice investigated and closed the case against the Americans. A Spanish court closed the first case after ruling that Spain had no jurisdiction to try the Americans. Spanish authorities later re-opened the case, but a court threw it out a second time when it ruled last year that an investigating magistrate had provided what was described as one-sided evidence against the Americans.

At the time of the incident, Couso was working for Spanish network Telecinco, while Protsyuk worked for Reuters news agency.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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