Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Libya military court jails accused foreign mercenaries

Reuters Tripoli  June 4, 2012

A Libyan military court on Monday handed down long prison terms to a group of men from the former Soviet Union accused of serving as mercenaries for ousted leader Muammar Gaddafi in last year’s war.

One Russian man, deemed the group’s coordinator, was sentenced to life in prison, the court heard. Another Russian, three Belarussians and 19 Ukrainians were handed sentences of 10 years with hard labor. They had denied the charges.

The military trial was the first of its kind in Libya since a popular revolt ousted Gaddafi last year. The new government is trying to prove its judicial process is robust enough to try high-profile Gaddafi loyalists including his son Saif al-Islam.

“This is the worst kind of sentence,” said Belarussian ambassador Anatoly Stepus who was present at the hearing. “We thought that even if they were sentenced it would not be so strict. They have suffered a lot.”

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June 4, 2012 Posted by | Africa, Civilian Contractors, Contractors Arrested, Legal Jurisdictions, Libya, Mercenaries | , , , , , , , | 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