Lawyers fear for Baghdad accused

Saturday 22 August 2009 00:00 BST

Lawyers for a British man accused of killing two fellow security contractors in Baghdad said yesterday that they feared the worst, and called on the Government to save him from the death penalty.

Danny Fitzsimons, 29, a former soldier, faces a premeditated murder charge after allegedly shooting fellow ArmorGroup employees Paul McGuigan and Darren Hoare and wounding an Iraqi, Arkhan Mahdi, during a drunken argument. If found guilty, he could be executed, although his family insist he had a long history of psychiatric problems.

His barrister Nick Wrack said he had visited Mr Fitzsimons, he had met the British deputy ambassador Robert Wilson and had written to the Iraqi minister for the interior and the minister for human rights asking for an urgent meeting to plead his client's case. "Everything we've seen, heard and learnt out here has confirmed our worst fears," said Mr Wrack. "We fear Danny will be used as a pawn by politicians eager to make a name for themselves." Lawyers are looking into provisions under Iraqi and UK law that may allow their client to be sent back to the UK for trial.

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