NEWS

Journalist’s wife wants US footage

PORTO CARRAS (Reuters) – The wife of a French cameraman missing in Iraq for three months said yesterday that US military footage shot shortly after his disappearance near Basra could provide clues as to what happened to him. Fred Nerac, working for British television company ITN, and Lebanese translator Hussein Osman went missing after their vehicle was caught in crossfire between American and Iraqi forces on March 22 as it sped from the southern city of Basra toward the Kuwaiti border. Veteran ITN journalist Terry Lloyd, traveling in a second vehicle, was killed in the attack. Nerac’s wife Fabienne Nerac said US soldiers were filming the spot and the vehicle her husband had traveled in but so far have not provided her with the footage. «The Americans were seen filming at the spot an hour after the incident. I have written to (Secretary of State Colin) Powell but so far have not received any help, although he said he would,» she told Reuters. There was no immediate US comment. Powell promised Nerac in April US military officials would do everything possible to find out what happened. Nerac, a French national, who has also met British and French officials in her quest for information, is attending an EU summit in Halkidiki, to push her case. She hopes to meet French President Jacques Chirac before the summit ends today. «I want to show that the story has not finished. I still have no news about Fred and he still has this status of missing,» Nerac said. Nerac, who is also paying for a private investigation into the incident, said two weeks ago Britain agreed to look into the matter officially. «I think what happened was that the Americans shot in an area under British control and said, ‘How are we going to explain that we are here?’» Nerac said. «I just hope the Americans will cooperate to give all the information they have,» she said.