8 December 2006
Spanish Supreme Court orders reopening of investigation into cameraman's death in Iraq
(RSF/IFEX) - Spain's Supreme Court has ordered the reopening of the Spanish judicial investigation into the death of Spanish cameraman José Couso, who was killed when a US tank shelled the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad on 8 April 2003.
"Under the principle of universal justice, the investigation of this case falls within the jurisdiction of the Spanish legal system," the Supreme Court ruled, overturning a 10 March 2006 decision by investigating judge Santiago Pedraz to close the case.
As a result of the ruling, Spain could now request the extradition of the three US soldiers responsible for firing at the hotel.
Couso worked for the privately-owned Spanish TV station Telecinco. A Reuters cameraman, Taras Protsyuk, was killed by the same shell. A US military investigation in 2003 concluded that the coalition forces were not guilty of "any misconduct or negligence" when they shelled the hotel.