ROME, March 11 (UPI) -- A U.S. State Department employee says he played a critical role in the killing of former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro.
Steve Pieczenik, a hostage negotiator, said in a book, "We Killed Aldo Moro," that he was sent to Italy after Moro's 1978 kidnapping, The Daily Telegraph reported. Pieczenik said he became part of a crisis committee headed by Italian Interior Minister Francesco Cossiga.
Moro, who served as prime minister from 1963 to 1966 and from 1974 to 1976, was killed by the Red Brigades almost two months after his abduction.
The killing was triggered by the crisis committee, which leaked a story that Moro was dead, Pieczenik said. That was a signal to the Red Brigades that the government would not negotiate to get Moro back.
Officials feared Moro would give critical information to the Red Brigades, Pieczenik wrote.
Moro, head of the Christian Democratic party, was on his way to Parliament for a vote of confidence on a government created by an alliance between his party and the Communist Party.