Armorgroup security guard Danny Fitzsimons to face court in Iraq
Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 13, 2010
A British security guard facing the death penalty for murder in Baghdad has been declared mentally fit for trial in a ruling that paves the way for him to face court in August.
The trial of Danny Fitzsimons, who is accused of murdering two colleagues in a drunken rampage, will open on August 4 unless further medical reports contradict the assessment.
Judge Ali Abbas al-Yousif of the Baghdad central criminal court said yesterday Mr Fitzsimons had been adjudged by doctors to be mentally normal and fit to stand trial.
(Maybe they took John Dorland Griffith over to do the dirty work)
But he also allowed an appeal by Mr Fitzsimons’s lawyers for a second opinion, allowing a re-examination by a second panel of doctors.
Mr Fitzsimons, a former paratrooper, was working for ArmorGroup, a private security division of G4S, the former Group 4 Security, last August when he shot two colleagues and an Iraqi interpreter.
The two dead men were Paul McGuigan, 37, a Briton, and Darren Hoare, 37, an Australian, with whom he had been drinking in a bar in Baghdad’s “Green Zone” foreign enclave. He wounded the interpreter as he tried to run away.
Mr Fitzimons has claimed self-defence, but his lawyers are also arguing that he was suffering post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of his years of military service in Iraq.
He had previously been fired from another security company after it was decided he was too unstable and had been given a suspended sentence for firearms charges in the previous November. Mr Fitzsimons was facing further charges after brandishing a gun at a gang of teenagers outside his flat in Bolton.
If he is convicted, he faces the death penalty, though lawyers say it is more likely that he would receive life in prison, and at some time be transferred to serve his sentence in Britain.