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Salvador court says suspect accused by US can't be tried

El Salvador's supreme court has ruled that Lt. Rodolfo Isidro Lopez, accused by the United States of ordering the killing of two Americans and a Salvadorean, cannot be prosecuted, judicial and diplomatic sources said Monday. They said the decision, upholding several lower-court rulings, appeared to end any chance of prosecuting Lieutenant Lopez.

The US has said Lopez and another officer ordered the January 1981 killing of two American land-reform advisers and a Salvadorean official. Two national guardsmen have admitted the murders. But Salvadorean law does not allow testimony from accused, and the sources said this was the basis for the high court's decision.

The US Embassy had no comment on the ruling, which was reportedly given on Friday.

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