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Danny Fitzsimons

This case summary is being revised and will be updated soon

Court Karkh Criminal Court, Iraq
Decision date 28 February 2011
Keywords Iraq, Murder, Private Military Security Contractors, PTSD, United Kingdom, self-defence
Other countries involved
  • Great Britain (UK)
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Legally relevant facts

Fitzsimons was working as a contractor for the UK security firm ArmorGroup, now a part of G4S. He allegedly murdered his fellow contractors, Briton Paul McGuigan and Australian Darren Hoare, following an argument between the three men. In addition to the murders, Fitzsimons was also accused of wounding an Iraqi security guard while attempting to leave the scene of the crime.

At trial, Fitzsimons admitted that he shot the two men but argued that it was in self-defense. He claimed to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD), stemming from his previous military experiences abroad.

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Court's holding and analysis

The Iraqi court considered Fitzsimons's PSTD argument and sentenced him to 20 years in prison for the shooting and murder of two of his colleagues in August 2009. He was also convicted for an attempting to kill the Iraqi security guard. Fitzsimons is the first Westener convicted in Iraq since the 2003 invasion. (In 2009, a US-Iraqi security agreement lifted immunity from prosecution for foreigners.)

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Additional materials