Agenzia Giornalistica Italia reports that an Italian lawyer named Carlo Taormina claims to be in possession of an audio tape that supports the U.S. version of the shooting of the car bearing Giuliana Sgrena:
Lawyer, Carlo Taormina has spoken once more of an audio tape, in his possession, of a satellite phone call between Iraq and Italy, a copy of which was obtained via the internet, by Gianluca Priete, (who is himself under police investigation for illegally accessing electronic records). It is said that this tape provides proof that the liberation of journalist, Giuliana Sgrena took place in a different manner than that which has up to now been publicly claimed.
He is speaking, of course, of claims by the Italian government.
In an interview during the broadcast “Italia in Prima Pagina” on the radio network GRT, the advocate speaks of “a conversation that takes place via satellite connection between two people, one who speaks perfect Italian and another person who speaks Italian with a foreign accent where there is a reconstruction of events absolutely different from that which I have been reading about in the newspapers recently. I would go as far as saying that I hope that the recording is a forgery for if it is not and all that which is contained on the tape is true, I feel sure that the magistrates will be able to get right to the truth of the question.”
Again, keep in mind that this is from the Italian point of view: Italians want the shooting not to have been justified. The intelligence agent killed in the shooting is considered a national hero; his death will be seen as more meaningful if it was attributable to indefensible U.S. actions, rather than mistakes by the Italians.
The recording of the discussion, “obtained via the internet through access of a site I would not like to name” was made, according to Taormina, by the aforementioned Preite; a 26 year old technician on whom the magistrates have for some time being carrying out a series of investigations to establish his credibility. “I am, at this moment, in possession of both the audio and written transcript of the telephone call and I have already notified the Rome police, in my capacity as a professional interested in the case for reasons which are well known, and I expect that on Wednesday I will consign this material.” According to Taormina the tape’s contents fit “harmoniously with the reconstruction in the report” – by the US – on the phases of the operation following the liberation of Giuliana Sgrena which resulted in the death of Nicola Calipari but which “do not feature in the report.” On the possibility that a ransom was paid for the release of the ‘il Manifesto’ journalist, Taormina concludes: “From the news that I have and from the sources that I can access via the contact I have, it is a possibility.”
Italy will issue a report today responding to the U.S. report released over the weekend concerning this incident, but the Italian report probably will not take into account the alleged tape spoken of by Taormina.
As Drudge says: “Developing . . . “