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Companion of Rescued Reporter Says the U.S. Wanted Her Dead

The circumstances surrounding the attack on an Italian journalist and her rescuers have many Italians wondering if it really was an accident.

March 6, 2005

Original Article (Italian)    

ROME - "You must be careful, because they want to kill to you." These were the words of Giuliana Sgrena's kidnappers before they freed her. Pier Scolari, companion of Giuliana Sgrena, recounted the words of the journalist. "Giuliana had the information.The American soldiers did not want her to leave with her life."

"The American soldiers prevented help from arriving for some minutes -- and they prevented anyone from approaching the car," Sgrena told Scolari.

Sources within Italian intelligence [SISMI] do not support this hypothesis. "We cannot exclude the possibility that the Americans wanted to kill Giuliana Sgrena, but they would not, however, have wanted to kill a SUSMI agent, which puts at risk cooperation between the U.S. and Italian intelligence services."

If Scolari's hypothesis is true, according to Italian intelligence, it was badly handled. "It would have been the simplest thing for the Americans to send their agents to suppress the incident and therefore blame the Iraqis, or to send Iraqis to perform the dirty job, rather than commit the act with friendly fire without even succeeding in the attempt."


"It saddens me, it saddens me, it saddens me. He shielded me with his body. The most difficult moment was when I saw the person who had saved me die in my arms," Giuliana told Rose Maria Calipari, the wife of the agent who was killed, as they held hands at the Celio military hospital.

Continuing the story of those terrible moments, Giuliana said "while I spoke to Nicholas, a rain of fire hit the car we were traveling in. Then the cell phones stopped working, and then aid failed to arrive. I can find no justification for what has happened."


To complete the reconstruction of the tragic shooting is Giuliana Sgrena's companion, Pier Scolari, who accompanied her during her flight from Baghdad: "They were 700 meters from the airport. They had already passed a number of American checkpoints. The Americans and Italians knew about (her) car coming," Then, after a turn the American troops trained their light on the car. It wasn't a checkpoint but a patrol that immediately opened fire with a hail of bullets. Three or four hundred bullets, say those who were at the scene. Then Calipari threw his body over Giuliana and saved her. All this happened while they were in direct phone contact with Chigi Palace. We were connected with cellular phones, but at a certain point, the American soldiers decided to cut communications. It was no longer possible to speak.

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