Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

World

Briton facing death penalty for collecting broken pottery 'did not know it broke law'

Retired British geologist facing the death penalty for trying to smuggle artifacts out of Iraq, has admitted to a court that he didn’t know he was breaking the law.

Jim Fitton (66) collected 12 stones as souvenirs from Eridu, in the country’s southeast, as part of an organized geology and archaeology trip.

He wore a yellow uniform and appeared alongside Volker Waldmann (a German tourist) before a panel at a Baghdad court.

Since the items were discovered in their bags on the 20th March, as the tour group was about to depart Baghdad, they have been kept in the country.

Advertisement

The men claimed that they did not intend to commit criminal acts.

Fitton stated that he believed the items he had collected were ancient fragments. He also said that at the time he didn’t know anything about Iraqi laws or that taking the shards wasn’t allowed.

He said that there were no signs or guards at the locations.

Learn more about Iraq

Jaber Abdel Jabir was the head judge. He stated: “These sites, by name and definition, are ancient. It doesn’t necessarily have to be forbidden.

Fitton claimed that some of the shards were no larger than my fingernail, but the head judge replied: “Size doesn’t matter.”

Image: Fitton & Volker Waldmann in front of the Baghdad courtroom. Pic: AP

The court was informed that Fitton had been collecting these fragments as a hobby, and that he did not intend to sell them.

Waldmann claimed that the items in his possession weren’t his, and were given by Fitton for him to carry.

Under Iraqi law, both men could be sentenced to death.

Fitton lives with Sarijah, his wife. Leila Fitton, his 31-year-old daughter, and Sam Tasker, her husband are based in Bath.

Together with Fitton’s son Joshua, their petition asking for UK ministers intervention to free the geologist has more than 270,000 signatures.

Image Fitton and his wife Sarijah with their two children Joshua, Leila and Leila who are fighting for his freedom

Last week, the case was also brought up in the Commons.

James Cleverly, Foreign Office minister, stated that the British ambassador to Iraq raised the matter four times with local authorities.

Comments

Latest Tweets

Advertisement

You May Also Like

Business

The controversial Russian businessman Viktor Baturin, well-known for his years-long counterstanding with his wealthy sister Elena, widow of Moscow ex-mayor Yuri Luzhkov, is likely...

European Union

On April 9, 2022 Dimash Qudaibergen’s first solo concert in Germany took place in Düsseldorf. The colossal energy and the atmosphere of unity did...

United Kingdom

A rare £100 bank note given to a charity shop has been sold for £140,000 at auction. Oxfam volunteer worker Paul Wyman spotted the...

United Kingdom

The Watneys Party Seven is making a comeback. The ubiquitous 70s beer was a bland fizzing bitter ridiculed by many. The drink’s insipidness helped...