February 27, 2024


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British Geologist Faces Death Penalty in Iraq on Smuggling Charges


A retired British geologist could facial area the dying penalty in Iraq right after he allegedly attempted to smuggle historic artifacts out of the state. He will stand trial before Iraq’s Felony Court this Sunday, May possibly 15, in accordance to the Connected Push.

Jim Fitton, who now life in Malaysia, was on an archaeological tourism vacation in close proximity to Eridu in the Dhi Qar province. Eridu, an historic Sumerian city referenced in mythology as the civilization’s oldest, was inhabited from around 5,000 to 600 BCE.

Fitton has been in custody due to the fact March 20, when Iraqi officials found 12 little shards of pottery in his baggage at the Baghdad airport. According to a Adjust.org petition commenced by Fitton’s two youngsters and son-in-regulation, which has gained virtually 270,000 signatures, the statutory punishment for smuggling historical artifacts out of Iraq is execution. (Fitton’s legal crew has mentioned it believes this consequence is not likely.)

Thair Soud, Fitton’s Iraqi attorney, previously attempted to close the situation just before it attained trial on the grounds that it would harm Iraq’s growing tourist economic system. Now, Soud will need to have to confirm in court that Fitton did not have any legal intent. Fitton’s youngsters informed the BBC that he did not know the objects have been traditionally major.

Wera Hobhouse, Fitton’s consultant in the British Parliament, introduced the circumstance to the interest of the British govt weeks ago. “It is an complete travesty for Jim and his family members that the Overseas Office environment has refused to get involved in spite of the family’s law firm advising that an intervention would make a variation in this situation,” Hobhouse instructed the Guardian on Might 5. “This is a existence-or-death problem.”

In a parliament meeting on Wednesday, Might 11, Hobhouse once more elevated Jim Fitton’s case.

“He is sitting in a mobile in Iraq, he has skipped his daughter’s marriage, and he most likely faces the death penalty. His family are anxious unwell,” Hobhouse claimed, once again urging the British governing administration to intervene.

James Cleverly, minister of condition for Europe and North The usa, stated, “We can’t, of program, interfere or seek out to interfere with the judicial system of a different place, just as we would not hope interference in our very own judicial method,” incorporating that employees from the British consulate in Iraq experienced frequented Fitton 4 occasions.

Numerous other customers of the parliament ongoing to press Cleverly on what the foreign ministry was undertaking to assist Fitton, but his answers remained vague.


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