updated 6/19/2006 10:51:53 AM ET 2006-06-19T14:51:53

Prosecutors have requested the indictment of a U.S. soldier over the shooting of an Italian intelligence agent at a checkpoint in Iraq last year, the ANSA news agency reported Monday.

Prosecutor Erminio Amelio has identified the U.S. soldier as Mario Lozano. Local newspapers have reported that Lozano is from New York.

Prosecutors were not immediately available to confirm ANSA’s report on the indictment requests. Fabrizio Cardinali, Lozano’s court-appointed lawyer, said last week he expected his client would be tried in absentia for murder and attempted murder.

Officials at the U.S. Embassy could not immediately be reached for comment.

The death of Nicola Calipari by U.S. gunfire strained relations between Italy and the United States.

The agent was heading by car to Baghdad airport on March 4, 2005, shortly after securing the release of an Italian journalist who had been kidnapped in the Iraqi capital when he was shot at the checkpoint.

Another agent, who was driving the car, and the journalist, Giuliana Sgrena, were wounded.

Italy and the United States issued separate reports on the incident, after failing to agree on a shared version of events.

U.S. authorities have said the vehicle was traveling fast, alarming soldiers, who feared an insurgent attack.

Italian officials claimed the car was traveling at normal speed and blamed U.S. military for failing to signal there was a checkpoint.

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