Mother wants US soldier to stand trial in Italy over her son’s death –

MILAN (AP) — The mother of a 15-year-old Italian boy killed after being hit by a car driven by a U.S. serviceman from Aviano Air Base calls for the case to be tried in Italy, not in court American military.

Giovanni Zanier’s death is being investigated by Italian authorities, but since an American serviceman is involved, the case could be turned over to the military under an Italian-American military treaty.

The 20-year-old woman was under house arrest to investigate a driving homicide. Toxicology tests showed she was driving four times the legal alcohol limit, Italian media reported.

The boy’s mother, Barbara Scandella, told Italian daily newspapers on Tuesday that the woman “should be tried in Italy and serve her full sentence here”.

“We all know of past incidents that have involved the US military in terrible accidents here. The truth is that in these areas they can do whatever they want and go unpunished,” Scandella said as quoted by the daily. Roman La Repubblica, she made similar comments to the Corriere della Sera.

In 1998, an American pilot taking off from Aviano severed a ski lift cable with a military plane as it flew too low, killing 20 people. He was court-martialed by a US military tribunal and acquitted of 20 counts of manslaughter in a case that sparked national outrage in Italy and strained relations with the United States.

In the latest case, the woman was driving a car that crashed into the pavement at the edge of a roundabout around 2.30am Sunday in the town of Porcia, about 15 kilometers (nine miles) from the base of Aviano in northeast Italy, Italian media said.

The 15-year-old was chatting with two friends on a bike path when he was hit and his body thrown tens of meters (yards) by the impact, Corriere della Sera reported. He died while being transferred to hospital. His friends are unharmed.

US military authorities expressed their “sincere condolences” and said they were working closely with Italian law enforcement.

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