Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Jury rejects woman’s rape claims in KBR suit

Houston Chronicle  July 8, 2011

Jurors in a Houston federal courtroom on Friday rejected a former Conroe woman’s claims she was drugged and gang-raped while working for Kellogg Brown and Root in Iraq in 2005.

The jury also rejected Jamie Leigh Jones’ fraud claims against the Houston-based defense contractor.

Jones, 26, had sued KBR and former KBR fireman Charles Boartz, accusing the company of creating a “sexually hostile working environment” at its Camp Hope installation in Iraq in 2005. She named Boartz as one of the alleged rapists.

Boartz, 34, denied raping Jones, saying the two engaged in consensual sex. The jurors agreed with Boartz.

The jury also found that KBR did not commit fraud by inducing Jones to enter into an employment contract.

By answering “no” to those two questions, jurors were not obligated to continue deliberations on other questions in the jury charge.

The month-long trial ended earlier this week, with both sides delivering closing statements on Thursday. The jury deliberated about five hours on Thursday and six hours Friday.

Jones sued KBR in 2007, accusing employees of the former Halliburton subsidiary of imprisoning her in a shipping container for more than six hours after she reported the alleged attack. She testified during the trial that she was denied food, water or the opportunity to call home for help.

In closing statements Thursday, Jones’ lawyers said the company gave the green light for other employees to commit similar offenses by neglecting to enforce its sexual harassment policies as far back as the late 1990s.

Lawyers for KBR and Boartz accused Jones of making up the attack, pointing out that doctors’ tests showed no sign of drugs in her system after the alleged incident. Defense attorneys throughout the trial accused Jones of lying repeatedly on company documents and questioned what they said where inconsistencies in her story.

Jones’ lawyers asked jurors to order KBR to pay up to 5 percent of its net worth in actual and punitive damages, which they said would have amounted to more than $114 million

Please see the original story at The Houston Chronicle

 

July 8, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Halliburton, Iraq, KBR, Legal Jurisdictions, Rape, Safety and Security Issues, Sexual Assault | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Anonymous leaks cache of sensitive security data from FBI contractor

TNW Industry  July 8, 2011

Hacking group Anonymous has today released an archive containing what it claims to be private emails and databases of IRC Federal, a contractor that partners with the U.S. Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of the Army.

The group calls this latest release ‘F*ck FBI Friday II’ and says that it “laid nuclear waste to their systems, owning their pathetic windows box, dropping their databases and private emails.”

Anonymous says that it found information in the emails that includes “various contracts, development schematics, and internal documents for various government institutions.”

These include a proposal for the FBI to develop a “Special Identities Modernization (SIM) Project” to “reduce terrorist and criminal activity by protecting all records associated with trusted individuals and revealing the identities of those individuals who may pose serious risk to the United States and its allies”.

Please read the rest of this story at TNW Industry

July 8, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Department of Defense, Government Contractor | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Legally binding controls needed for private security contractors, say UN experts

UN News Center 8 July 2011 –

A group of independent United Nations experts today called for the adoption of binding international regulations to control the activities of private security companies.
José Luis Gómez del Prado, the Chairman of the UN Working Group on Mercenaries, told a news conference at UN Headquarters that “the international community needs clarification on the jurisdiction” of such companies.

Mr. Gómez said there is a legal “gap” between recognized international conventions on the use of mercenaries, and the control of private security companies that are often used by governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

The Working Group had already submitted proposed legislation to the General Assembly and the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva which were being discussed at the expert level.

Mr. Gómez said that many countries had proposed self regulation and codes of conduct, but the panel is proposing a specific international instrument that would be agreed on by national governments.

“What we are proposing is a binding instrument for States that is very clear” to include licensing, national and international monitoring of activities and civil and criminal laws regulating them.

The instrument, he said, would also have measures specifically to deal with victims.

Noting that four years after the killing of 17 civilians in Nissour Square in Iraq, the case against the alleged perpetrators is still pending in United States courts, he said “The victims don’t receive justice.”

The panel visited Iraq last month and urged the Iraqi Government to prioritize the adoption of legislation regulating security companies that has been pending since 2008.

“While US troops are scheduled to leave Iraq by the end of the year, security contractors are there to stay. The urgency to regulate their activities couldn’t be greater,” he said today.

Alexander Nikitin, a member of the Working Group, said the different methods of control for private security companies in Iraq and Afghanistan highlighted the need for international standards.

The Group reports to the Human Rights Council in an independent and unpaid capacity

Press Conference by Working Group on Use of Mercenaries, Following Iraq Trip

July 8, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Legal Jurisdictions, Mercenaries, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor, United Nations | , , , , | Leave a comment

Army contractor from S. Africa faces prison term in US for stabbing British man in Kandahar

S. African gets 3.5 years for Kandahar stabbing (Westport News)  July 8, 2011

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — An Army contractor from South Africa has been sentenced to 3½ years in prison for stabbing a British man last year at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan.

Sean Brehm of Cape Town pleaded guilty in April to stabbing John Osborn, who also worked for a U.S. contractor. Their dispute stemmed from an affair between Brehm and Osborn’s wife. Prosecutors say Osborn likely would have died if a medic hadn’t been on scene.

Brehm appears to be the first foreign national contractor convicted under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act, which gives U.S. courts jurisdiction over certain crimes committed outside the United States. Brehm was employed by Falls Church-based DynCorp.

The sentence imposed Friday at federal court in Alexandria was in line with prosecutors’ request. The defense had asked for only 18 months.

Associated Press at the Washington Post  July 8, 2011

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — An Army contractor from South Africa likely faces at least 18 months in prison for stabbing a British man last year at the Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan.

Sean Brehm of Cape Town will be sentenced Friday at federal court in Alexandria for stabbing John Osborn, who also worked for a U.S. contractor. Their dispute stemmed from an affair between Brehm and Osborn’s wife. Prosecutors say Osborn likely would have died if an Army medic hadn’t been on scene.

Brehm appears to be the first foreign national contractor convicted under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act, which gives U.S. courts jurisdiction over certain crimes committed outside the United States. He was working for DynCorp, a Falls Church-based contractor.

July 8, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, DynCorp, Legal Jurisdictions | , , , , | Leave a comment