Monday, May 02, 2005

Are the Italians Still Stonewalling the Iraqi Sgrena Investigation?

On March 16 I wrote about complaints from Iraqi Colonel Jabbar Anwar, head of the major crimes unit in the section of Baghdad where Giuliana Sgrena was held. At that time, the Italians were refusing to cooperate with Anwar's investigation. There has been no news since then to indicate whether or not Italian officials have supplied him with the information he needs.

With an Italian report on the Sgrena incident due out today that is expected to disagree with the US one, it would be a good time for mainstream journalists to question Italians closely on their cooperation, or lack of it, with the Iraqi authorities who have jurisdiction in the case.

A major sticking point is quite likely that the Italians do not want to disclose the amount of the ransom they paid for Sgrena's release, in violation of established Coalition policy on the issue of ransoms. The reported six to eight million dollars will pay for a lot of weapons to kill Coalition soldiers and Iraqi police and civilians.