Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

The Modern Day DBA Casualty

Danny Fitzsimons, ArmorGroup, Murder Trial Updates

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on December 29, 2010

Danny Fitzsimons was hired by ArmorGroup to carry a gun despite having been diagnosed with PTSD, being in trouble with the law, and posting on Facebook about “The War Inside His Head”. ArmorGroup should be on trial here too.

SINAN SALAHEDDIN  AP at SFGate

The trial of a British security contractor charged with killing two of his colleagues last year opened Wednesday in Baghdad with testimony from a guard who said the contractor shot him.

Danny Fitzsimons, who attended the hearing, is the first Western contractor on trial in an Iraqi court since a 2009 U.S.-Iraqi security agreement lifted immunity for foreign contractors.

Iraq pressed hard for foreign contractors to be accountable for their actions after armed contractors employed by the North Carolina-based Blackwater Worldwide, now known as Xe, opened fire at a Baghdad intersection in September 2007, killing 17 civilians.

Fitzsimons is charged with two counts of premeditated murder in the deaths of two contractors, a British and an Australian, during an argument last year inside Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone. He is also charged with an attempted murder of an Iraqi guard working for a British security firm.

Fitzsimons could receive the death penalty if convicted.

The trial opened with a testimony of the Iraqi guard who claims Fitzsimons shot him in the leg.

Arkan Mahdi Saleh, an Iraqi guard at the security firm ArmorGroup that also employed the defendant and the two slain men, told a three-judge panel that he saw Fitzsimons with a pistol before he was shot.

“I was standing at a guard post when I heard some movements behind me,” said the 33-year old Saleh. “When I turned back to check, I saw Fitzsimons with a pistol in his hand and aiming at me,” Saleh, identifying the defendant as the man who shot him.

Two other witnesses took the stand on Wednesday, confirming much of Saleh’s account of the shooting. One said he saw Saleh lying wounded on the ground.

Fitzsimons appeared in court clean shaven, wearing a beige shirt, jeans and sneakers. He stood behind a wooden fence with two security guards closely watching him.

After hearing the eyewitness testify, the defendant asked a judge for permission to speak. The request was refused.

“I got a lot to say,” Fitzsimons told his lawyer, Tariq Harb, after the court adjourned and the guards were handcuffing him for the trip to prison.

One of the judges, presiding over the 45-minute hearing, read written testimonies of three foreign security contractors who have left Iraq since the fatal incident.

None of the three testified to witnessing Fitzsimons shoot his two colleagues and the Iraqi guard. They wrote in their statement they saw the group of three foreign contractors drinking and quarreling inside one of the caravans where they lived.  Please see the original here

From the Huffington PostMurder Trial for British Contractor Opens in Iraq

BAGHDAD — The trial of a British security contractor charged with killing two of his colleagues in Iraq last year has opened in Baghdad.

Danny Fitzsimons is the first Westerner to go on trial in an Iraqi court since a 2009 U.S.-Iraqi security agreement lifted immunity for foreign contractors. Fitzsimons attended Wednesday’s hearing.

He has been charged with shooting and killing two contractors – a British and an Australian national – during a June 2009 argument inside Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone and then wounding an Iraqi while fleeing.

All three men were working for the British security firm ArmorGroup Iraq.

The trail was adjourned until Jan. 23.

See Also at the Burnley Express

The trial of a security contractor from Manchester charged with killing two of his colleagues in Iraq last year has opened in Baghdad.

Danny Fitzsimons, from Middleton, Manchester, is the first Westerner to go on trial in an Iraqi court since a 2009 US-Iraqi security agreement lifted immunity for foreign contractors.

He was at Wednesday’s hearing which adjourned the trial until January 23.

He has been charged with shooting and killing two contractors — a British and an Australian — during an argument inside Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone in June last year and then wounding an Iraqi while fleeing.

All three men were working for the British security firm ArmorGroup Iraq.

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