MADRID, Spain – A judge has issued an international arrest warrant for three U.S. soldiers whose tank fired on a Baghdad hotel during the Iraq war, killing a Spanish journalist and one other, a court official said Wednesday.
Judge Santiago Pedraz (search) issued the warrant for Sgt. Shawn Gibson, Capt. Philip Wolford and Lt. Col. Philip de Camp, all from the U.S. 3rd Infantry (search).
Jose Couso, who worked for the Spanish television network Telecinco (search), died April 8, 2003, after a U.S. army tank crew fired a shell on Hotel Palestine (search) in Baghdad where several journalists were staying to cover the war.
Reuters cameraman Taras Portsyuk, a Ukrainian, also was killed.
The Spanish judge said he issued the arrest order because of a lack of judicial cooperation from the United States regarding the case.
U.S. officials insist the soldiers believed they were being shot at when they opened fire.
Following the Palestine incident, Secretary of State Colin Powell (search) said a review of the incident found that the use of force was justified.
In late 2003, the National Court (search), acting on a request from Couso's family, agreed to consider filing criminal charges against three members of the tank crew.