Nicola Calipari
Nicola Calipari was an Italian SISMI
Servizio per le Informazioni e la Sicurezza Militare was the military intelligence agency of Italy from 1977-2007....

 military intelligence
Military intelligence
Military intelligence is a military discipline that exploits a number of information collection and analysis approaches to provide guidance and direction to commanders in support of their decisions....

 officer with the rank of Major General
Major General
Major general or major-general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. A major general is a high-ranking officer, normally subordinate to the rank of lieutenant general and senior to the ranks of brigadier and brigadier general...

. Calipari was killed by United States soldiers while escorting a recently released Italian hostage
A hostage is a person or entity which is held by a captor. The original definition meant that this was handed over by one of two belligerent parties to the other or seized as security for the carrying out of an agreement, or as a preventive measure against certain acts of war...

, journalist Giuliana Sgrena
Giuliana Sgrena
Giuliana Sgrena is an Italian journalist who works for the Italian communist newspaper Il Manifesto and the German weekly Die Zeit. While working in Iraq, she was kidnapped by insurgents on February 4, 2005. After her release on March 4, 2005, Sgrena and the two Italian intelligence officers who...

, to Baghdad International Airport
Baghdad International Airport
Baghdad International Airport, originally Saddam International Airport, , BIAP is Iraq's largest airport, located in a suburb about west of downtown Baghdad in the Baghdad Governorate...



Calipari was born in Reggio Calabria
Reggio Calabria
Reggio di Calabria , commonly known as Reggio Calabria or Reggio, is the biggest city and the most populated comune of Calabria, southern Italy, and is the capital of the Province of Reggio Calabria and seat of the Council of Calabrian government.Reggio is located on the "toe" of the Italian...

. When killed, he was married and had two children; he had spent most of his career inside the Italian police, rising to prominent positions, before joining the Italian military Security and Intelligence Service (SISMI
Servizio per le Informazioni e la Sicurezza Militare was the military intelligence agency of Italy from 1977-2007....

) two years before his death.

During the 1990s he was involved in several rescues of people kidnapped by 'Ndrangheta and other criminal organizations.

Rescue of Giuliana Sgrena

Nicola Calipari, along with Andrea Carpani, liberated (in undisclosed circumstances) Giuliana Sgrena from her captors. On the way back to Baghdad International Airport
Baghdad International Airport
Baghdad International Airport, originally Saddam International Airport, , BIAP is Iraq's largest airport, located in a suburb about west of downtown Baghdad in the Baghdad Governorate...

, the Toyota Corolla
Toyota Corolla
The Toyota Corolla is a line of subcompact and compact cars manufactured by the Japanese automaker Toyota, which has become very popular throughout the world since the nameplate was first introduced in 1966. In 1997, the Corolla became the best selling nameplate in the world, with over 35 million...

 they were travelling in came under fire, in disputed conditions, by US soldiers that had set up a blocking position to protect the convoy transporting the US ambassador, John Negroponte
John Negroponte
John Dimitri Negroponte is an American diplomat. He is currently a research fellow and lecturer in international affairs at Yale University's Jackson Institute for Global Affairs...


According to the reconstruction of Giuliana Sgrena, Calipari threw himself on her, and shortly after died (shot in his temple). A Coalition
Multinational force in Iraq
The Multi-National Force – Iraq was a military command, led by the United States, which was responsible for Operation Iraqi Freedom. Multi-National Force – Iraq replaced the previous force, Combined Joint Task Force 7, on 15 May 2004, and was later itself reorganized into its successor, United...

 report later identified the soldier who shot Calipari as New York State National Guardsman Mario Lozano
Mario Lozano
Mario Lozano is a member of the U.S. Army holding the rank of specialist , who was once indicted by an Italian court for his role in the death of Italian Secret Service officer Nicola Calipari in an incident on Route Irish, immediately following the Rescue of Giuliana Sgrena...

, a member of the 1st Battalion of the 69th Infantry Regiment (of the Third Infantry Division).

Reactions in Italy

Sorrow for Calipari's death united the nation, tens of thousands of Italian citizens paid their respects to Calipari, who had become a national hero
Folk hero
A folk hero is a type of hero, real, fictional, or mythological. The single salient characteristic which makes a character a folk hero is the imprinting of the name, personality and deeds of the character in the popular consciousness. This presence in the popular consciousness is evidenced by...

, at the state funeral
State funeral
A state funeral is a public funeral ceremony, observing the strict rules of protocol, held to honor heads of state or other important people of national significance. State funerals usually include much pomp and ceremony as well as religious overtones and distinctive elements of military tradition...

 on March 8, 2005, at Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri
Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri
The Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels and the Martyrs is a titular basilica church in Rome, built inside the frigidarium of the Baths of Diocletian. The Cardinal priest of the is William Henry Keeler.- The basilica :...

 in Rome.

He was posthumously awarded the Gold Medal of Military Valor
Gold Medal of Military Valor
The Gold Medal of Military Valor is an Italian medal established on 21 May 1793 by King Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia "....per bassi ufficiali e soldati che avevano fatto azioni di segnalato valore in guerra" .The face of the medal displayed the profile of the king, and on its reverse was a flag...

 by President of the Italian Republic Carlo Azeglio Ciampi
Carlo Azeglio Ciampi
dr. Carlo Azeglio Ciampi is an Italian politician and banker. He was the 73rd Prime Minister of Italy from 1993 to 1994 and was the tenth President of the Italian Republic from 1999 to 2006...

 on March 22, 2005


On May 8, 2007, the Italian TV channel Canale 5
Canale 5
Canale 5 is an Italian private television network of Mediaset, the media branch of Fininvest. Canale 5 was the first private television network to have a national coverage in Italy in 1980, based on a local channel, TeleMilano 58, founded in 1978....

 broadcast a video of the very first moments after the shooting. In this video, Calipari's car lights are switched on (while US officials said the car was travelling with lights switched off), and the car is at least 50 metres from the US army tank. This means that Lozano shot while the car was more than 50 metres from the tank, in contradiction with what Lozano said.

Judicial investigation

Italian prosecutors are now actively seeking to interview Lozano as part of their criminal investigation
Criminal procedure
Criminal procedure refers to the legal process for adjudicating claims that someone has violated criminal law.-Basic rights:Currently, in many countries with a democratic system and the rule of law, criminal procedure puts the burden of proof on the prosecution – that is, it is up to the...

 into Calipari's death.

On December 22, 2005 the special prosecutors of the Magistrate's service of Rome announced that they were considering charging Lozano with voluntary manslaughter
Voluntary Manslaughter
Voluntary manslaughter is the killing of a human being in which the offender had no prior intent to kill and acted during "the heat of passion," under circumstances that would cause a reasonable person to become emotionally or mentally disturbed. In the Uniform Crime Reports prepared by the...


On January 18, 2006, it was reported that the prosecutors had decided to charge Lozano with murder. The prosecutors indicated that despite making over twenty formal requests to the United States, they refused to formally identify Lozano. After confirming Lozano's identity, the Magistrate service appointed an attorney to represent Lozano during the charging process. If Lozano does not accept service of process and appear at his upcoming trial, he will be tried in absentia
In absentia
In absentia is Latin for "in the absence". In legal use, it usually means a trial at which the defendant is not physically present. The phrase is not ordinarily a mere observation, but suggests recognition of violation to a defendant's right to be present in court proceedings in a criminal trial.In...


On February 7, 2007, it was reported that Judge Sante Spinaci had agreed to allow the trial in absentia to move forward. The trial will begin on April 17.

On October 25, 2007, an Italian court dismissed the charges against Lozano after determining that multinational forces in Iraq were under the exclusive jurisdiction of the country that sent them.

Political implications

Calipari's death caused a major international incident, since Calipari, a highly decorated SISMI
Servizio per le Informazioni e la Sicurezza Militare was the military intelligence agency of Italy from 1977-2007....

Secret Agent
Secret Agent is a British film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, loosely based on two stories in Ashenden: Or the British Agent by W. Somerset Maugham. The film starred John Gielgud, Peter Lorre, Madeleine Carroll, and Robert Young...

, had become a national hero in Italy. As a result, there was significant pressure on the government of Italy to publicly support another investigation into the shooting, this time being conducted by prosecutors.

Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi
Silvio Berlusconi
Silvio Berlusconi , also known as Il Cavaliere – from knighthood to the Order of Merit for Labour which he received in 1977 – is an Italian politician and businessman who served three terms as Prime Minister of Italy, from 1994 to 1995, 2001 to 2006, and 2008 to 2011. Berlusconi is also the...

 indicated in Parliament on May 5, 2005 that the government remains fully committed to supporting the ongoing judicial investigation into Calipari's death. One of the most prominent leaders of the opposition in the lower house of parliament
Italian Chamber of Deputies
The Italian Chamber of Deputies is the lower house of the Parliament of Italy. It has 630 seats, a plurality of which is controlled presently by liberal-conservative party People of Freedom. Twelve deputies represent Italian citizens outside of Italy. Deputies meet in the Palazzo Montecitorio. A...

, Piero Fassino
Piero Fassino
Pietro Franco "Piero" Fassino is an Italian politician with the Democratic Party, the current Mayor of Turin and a former national secretary of the Democrats of the Left party.-Biography:...

, called for the United States to facilitate cooperation with the investigation, indicating that they believe the U.S. Army should produce Lozano for questioning by the magistrates.,1280,-4985215,00.html

Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio
Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio
Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio , is an Italian politician. He served as Minister of Environment in the second cabinet of Romano Prodi between 2006 and 2008....

, head of the Italian Federation of the Greens
Federation of the Greens
The Federation of the Greens is a green political party in Italy, which includes also a large eco-socialist faction. Since 2009 the party leader is Angelo Bonelli.-Early years:...

, indicated that should the United States fail to cooperate with this investigation by allowing Lozano to be questioned, he would push for a hearing at the International Court of Justice
International Court of Justice
The International Court of Justice is the primary judicial organ of the United Nations. It is based in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands...,1280,-4985215,00.html.

Nicola Calipari's death has sparked one of the most serious diplomatic incidents between U.S. and Italy since the end of World War II. Other such incidents include the Sigonella crisis, the Cavalese cable car disaster in 1998, the Gladio scandal and the Muslim cleric Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr
Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr
Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr , also known as Abu Omar, is an Egyptian cleric. In 2003 he was living in Milan, Italy, from where he was kidnapped and allegedly later tortured in Egypt. This "Imam rapito affair" prompted a series of investigations in Italy, culminating in the criminal convictions of...

 abduction in 2003 (Imam Rapito affair
Imam Rapito affair
The Abu Omar Case refers to the abduction and transfer to Egypt of the Imam of Milan Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, also known as Abu Omar...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.