Sunday 23 January 2011

Briton could face death penalty in Iraq after British colleague shot dead

Ex-soldier Danny Fitzsimons Iraq murder trial hearing

A fresh hearing is being held in the trial of a UK security guard accused of killing two colleagues in Iraq.

Danny Fitzsimons, 30, from Rochdale, is accused of shooting dead the men he worked for security firm ArmorGroup.

The ex-soldier could face the death penalty if he is found guilty of his colleagues' murder.

A verdict is thought to be imminent in the ex-soldier's Baghdad trial which was delayed by adjournments to allow for psychiatric reports to be prepared.

His defence team said their client was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder at the time of the incident.

John Tipple, a case worker with solicitors Linn and Associates, said: "I am alarmed by reports that no notice is being taken of his psychiatric state."

Mr Fitzsimons is accused of killing Paul McGuigan, of Peebles in the Scottish Borders, and Darren Hoare, of Queensland, Australia, both 37, on 9 August, 2009.

Mr Fitzsimons' family in the UK have called on the British government to bring him back to face a trial under the UK judicial system.

The former soldier is the first westerner to stand trial in Iraq after a 2009 US-Iraqi security agreement lifted immunity for foreigners.

The three men had been working for British security firm ArmourGroup, based in the Iraqi capital's fortified Green Zone, at the time.

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