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Judge Seeks U.S. Troops’ Arrest Over Cameraman Death

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July 29 (Bloomberg) -- A Spanish judge ordered the detention of three U.S. soldiers accused of killing Spanish cameraman Jose Couso in Iraq in 2003.

Judge Santiago Pedraz at Spain’s National Court ordered the arrest of Sergeant Thomas Gibson, Captain Philip Wolford and Lieutenant Colonel Philip de Camp, according to court documents.

The court offered to hear the soldiers’ defense in the U.S., although American authorities haven’t cooperated, and the relevant international arrest warrants will be activated, the judge said. Pedraz said he would seek information on the men’s whereabouts from Spanish police and intelligence agencies.

Couso was killed while filming with other reporters in the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad on April 8, 2003, the court said. Spanish law allows courts to pursue crimes including terrorism and crimes against humanity in other countries if they have a Spanish connection.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. embassy in Madrid declined to immediately comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Emma Ross-Thomas in Madrid at erossthomas@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Fraher at jfraher@bloomberg.net

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