Thursday, April 28, 2005

Berlusconi Fears to Back Report on Calipari killing

Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has been forced by Italian public opinion to distance his government from it's own joint report with the U.S. into the killing of military intelligence officer Nicola Calipari, who was shot dead in a Baghdad incident by U.S. forces -who also wounded journalist Giuliana Sgrena.

Berlusconi, speaking minutes after his new cabinet won a final confidence vote in parliament, told journalists today that Italy 'will not sign off on anything that does not convince us'.

The preliminary findings leaked in Washington this week that were widely seen in Italy as an insult. It found that U.S. soldiers followed their rules of engagement and should face no charges of dereliction of duty over the incident.

But with Berlusconi clearly unable to sell the report to an outraged Italian population, the issue will continue to weigh against his government. No matter how many cosmetic cabinet reshuffles he tries.


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