Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Iran: American spy suspect faces death penalty

(CBS/AP)

TEHRAN, Iran – An American man accused by Iran of working for the CIA could face the death penalty, the semiofficial Fars news agency reported Tuesday.

In a closed court hearing, the prosecution applied for capital punishment, the report said, because the suspect, identified as Amir Mirzaei Hekmati, “admitted that he received training in the United States and planned to imply that Iran was involved in terrorist activities in foreign countries” after returning to the U.S.

The prosecutor said Hekmati entered Iran’s intelligence department three times.

The report said Hekmati repeated a confession broadcast on state TV Dec. 18.

Iran broadcasts alleged U.S. spy’s confession

Under the Iranian law spying can lead to death penalty only in military cases.

The Fars report said Hekmati’s lawyer, who was identified only by his surname, Samadi, denied the charges. He said Iranian intelligence blocked Hekmati from infiltrating, and under the Iranian law, intention to infiltrate is not a crime.

The lawyer said Hekmati was deceived by the CIA. No date for the next court hearing was released.

Hekmati, 28, was born in Arizona. His family is of Iranian origin. His father, who lives in Michigan, said his son is not a CIA spy and was visiting his grandmothers in Iran when he was arrested.

Because his father is Iranian, Hekmati is considered an Iranian citizen

Please read the entire story here

December 28, 2011 Posted by | CIA, Civilian Contractors, Legal Jurisdictions | , , , | Leave a comment

ArmorGroup Security Guard,Danny Fitzsimons, escapes Death Penalty in Baghdad

People with PTSD can have “heightened levels of physiological arousal,” such as elevated heart rates even though they are not in real danger, Baldwin said.

“Because they feel unsafe, they’re more likely to be triggered into a defense state that might get them out of a traumatic experience that isn’t really happening,” he said.

“During this type of event, you think that your life or others’ lives are in danger,” Baldwin said. “You may feel afraid or feel that you have no control over what is happening.”

From Learning to Live Again

The Guardian UK Monday February 28, 2011  12:50 GMT

Danny Fitzsimons avoids death penalty and lawyers press for reduced sentence to be served in UK

Clive Stafford Smith, Reprieve’s director, said: “If G4S had done the proper checks and risk assessments when Danny applied to work with them, they would have quickly seen that he was suffering from serious PTSD, a consequence of loyally serving his country.

Danny Fitzsimons leaves the Iraqi court where he received a 20-year jail sentence for murder. Immunity for foreign contractors was lifted in 2009. Photograph: Karim Kadim/AP

A British former soldier has been jailed for 20 years by the supreme court of Iraq for the murder of two fellow security contractors, becoming the first westerner to be convicted in the country since the 2003 invasion.

The family of 31-year-old Danny Fitzsimons expressed relief that he had escaped the death penalty and asked Iraqi authorities and the UK government to ensure his safety in prison. Defence lawyers indicated they would try to get the term reduced.

Before his conviction and sentencing in a hearing lasting less than 30 minutes, there had been talks over whether he could be transferred to a British prison. Fitzsimons’s family and campaigners fear for his safety if he is moved outside Baghdad’s Green Zone to the city’s Rusafa prison.

Fitzsimons, from Middleton, Manchester, was accused of shooting fellow Briton Paul McGuigan and Australian Darren Hoare in Baghdad, colleagues with the UK security firm ArmorGroup, part of G4S, after an argument in the Green Zone in August 2009. He was also accused of wounding an Iraqi guard while fleeing. The incident happened within 36 hours of his arrival in the city. He had worked in the country before.

Fitzsimons admitted shooting the men but claimed it was in self-defence. The colleagues had been out drinking and the other two tried to kill him during an altercation, he said. Fitzsimons claimed to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

As he was led from the courtroom by Iraqi guards, he told reporters he was happy with the sentence. Asked whether he thought the trial had been fair, he said: “No.”

In an interview before the sentence, he told the Independent he had been treated “like a dog” in court.

Fitzsimons’s family and his British lawyer, John Tripple, who attended a court session last week, were not present at the hearing. His Iraqi lawyer, Tariq Harb, said: “This is a very good sentence. I saved him from the gallows.”

He told the Guardian he would appeal within 30 days. “I expect the sentence can be lightened to 15 years. The Iraqi law is independent and it is very fair.” Please read the entire story here

February 28, 2011 Posted by | ArmorGroup, Civilian Contractors, G4S, Iraq, Legal Jurisdictions, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Private Security Contractor | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Aussie Contractor on death row will offer compensation

A lawyer for an Australian man sentenced to death for murder in Afghanistan says his client’s family will try to have the judgment overturned by paying compensation to the victim’s family.

Robert Langdon’s predicament began when he shot dead an Afghan colleague while reportedly working as a contractor for US-based security firm Four Horsemen International.

Langdon, a 38-year-old former soldier in the Australian Army, claimed he shot the man in self-defence, but an Afghan court found him guilty of murder in October last year and sentenced him to death by hanging.

The South Australian man’s lawyer, Stephen Kenny, says under Islamic law the family is able to make a payment of tens of thousands of dollars to a local court.

“My hope is that it will result in the death penalty coming off the table and in an ideal situation … we may be able to seek his release back to Australia,” Mr Kenny said.

He understands the payment will be offered to a local court this week, before a Supreme Court appeal is due to be heard.

“In the ibra court my understanding is it is about the compensation, about the forgiveness of the family, which is a serious feature of Islamic law,” he said.

Langdon’s sister Katie Godfrey says her brother’s health is suffering in prison.

“He has lost over 20 kilo, for him to lose 20 kilo when he’s already lean, I just dread to think what he looks like now,” she said.

Tens of thousands of security contractors work in Afghanistan and their numbers are increasing.

Analysts say the presence of this private army is a source of tension between Afghanistan’s government and its Western allies.

In recent years the Afghan government has allowed foreign security contractors accused of crimes to be dealt with in their home country Story here

May 17, 2010 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Legal Jurisdictions, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor | , , , , , | Leave a comment