100s of titles, one news app for just $10 a month.
Dive Deeper:
Case of retired geologist held in Iraq raised repeatedly, minister says
Father-of-two Jim Fitton has been detained in Iraq for more than six weeks.
Trial date for retired British geologist facing smuggling allegations in Iraq
UK ministers have faced fresh pleas to personally raise the case of Jim Fitton with their Iraqi counterparts.
Retired Brit facing death penalty for 'stealing artefacts' to stand trial in Iraq
Father-of-two Jim Fitton, 66, was arrested and slung in an Iraqi jail after trying to take home 12 stones and…
British man found with ancient shards in Iraq to stand trial
The lawyer of a British national accused by Iraq of possessing small archaeological fragments will be tried next week
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Daughter of Briton facing death penalty in Iraq ‘heartbroken and afraid’ as father misses wedding
‘The horrible, but very real, possibility of the death penalty is hanging over us,’ Leila Fitton says
Jim Fitton: Briton facing death penalty in Iraq ‘did not know he had broken law’
Retired geologist says there were no guards or signage alerting him to fact taking items was prohibited
Get all your news in one place
Latest National news:
Residents speak out against Delany's later trading plan
"It's going to be the residents who cop the flak and the pub who cops the profit."
Read news from The Economist, FT, Bloomberg and more, with one subscription
Learn More
ACT elective surgeries to be postponed
The ACT Government have confirmed that their system is experiencing extremely high demand, meaning some elective surgeries will be postponed.
Barnaby Joyce’s drought envoy texts not ‘documents of a minister’, prime minister’s office claims
PMO again refuses freedom of information request to release any messages Joyce says were reports on his work
Richmond Vale Rail Trail plan rolls on as second part exhibited
The proposal traverses three different local government areas, so has been split into two sections for development approval.
‘Hello it’s John Howard calling’: former PM says Liberal party asked him to ‘campaign extensively’
The current prime minister is unpopular in city marginal seats, so the Coalition is banking on robocalls and letterbox drops…
From analysis to good news, read the world’s best news in one place
'Entirely possible' same weapon stabbed two in deadly skatepark brawl
A 17-year-old boy admits stabbing one of the victims, who survived, but he denies killing the other.
Pryce would be an X-factor signing for Knights: Dom Young
Young believes Pryce could 'bring a lot' to the Knights.

Jim Fitton: Government urged to stop ‘nightmare’ of Briton facing death penalty in Iraq

By Zoe Tidman
Change.org

The government has been urged to stop the “nightmare” of a British man facing the death penalty in Iraq “before it turns into a tragedy” by his daughter’s MP.

Wera Hobhouse told parliament she was “deeply concerned” with how the Foreign Office had handled the case of Jim Fitton, whose trial was “fast approaching”.

The 66-year-old retired geologist has been detained for weeks in Iraq, where he stands accused of attempting to smuggle historical artifacts out of the country.

He was arrested at an airport earlier this year over stones and shards of broken pottery in his luggage. His family say he picked these unguarded items up on a historical site visit after being assured they had no monetary nor historical value.

The statutory punishment for the alleged crime is execution, according to a petition calling on the UK government to help facilitate his release.

Ms Hobhouse raised an urgent question on Mr Fitton - who now lives in Malaysia with his wife - in parliament on Wednesday.

“I am deeply concerned by the nature of the Foreign Office’s engagement with my constituent’s case,” she said.

The Liberal Democrat MP said Mr Fitton’s lawyer believes representations from the UK government “could make a huge difference” but she feels it is giving the impression it is “not particularly interested or worried” instead.

Retired British geologist Jim Fitton with his wife Sarijah Fitton and his daughter Leila Fitton (Family handout/PA) (PA Media)

”Jim is days now away from a trial. We are told that the government will not be making crucial representations to the Iraqi government,” she said.

“I understand that the German government is making representations on behalf of one of their nationals who has been detained with Jim; why will the Foreign Office not do the same?”

She added: “British citizens deserve the help of the British government. Jim Fitton is potentially facing the death penalty.

“I urge ministers to do everything they can to stop this nightmare before it turns into a tragedy.”

Retired British geologist Jim Fitton and his wife Sarijah Fitton (Family handout photo/PA) (PA Media)

James Cleverly, a Foreign Office minister, said he “completely” rejected this description of the government’s role in the case, saying consular officials had met with Mr Fitton and the UK ambassador to Iraq had raised the issue with the Iraqi authorities a number of times.

“We will of course continue to raise this case with the Iraqi officials, we will of course continue to liaise with Mr Fitton and his family, and we will continue to support British nationals in incarceration around the globe,” he said.

The minister for Europe and North America earlier told parliament: “We understand the urgency and the concerns that Mr Fitton and his family have. We cannot, of course, interfere or seek to interfere with the judicial process of another country, just as we would not expect interference in our own judicial process.”

“That said, the British ambassador in Baghdad has raised and will continue to raise Mr Fitton’s case with the Iraqi hovernment. That includes raising with the authorities the UK’s strong opposition to the death penalty, in the context of both its potential application to Mr Fitton and our in-principle opposition to it in all instances.”

The detained Briton’s son-in-law previously told The Independent the family felt “completely abandoned” by the Foreign Office since Mr Fitton was detained earlier this year.

His daughter said at the weekend she was “heartbroken and afraid” as her father missed her wedding day in Malaysia.

What is inkl?
The world’s most important news, from 100+ trusted global sources, in one place.
Morning Edition
Your daily
news overview

Morning Edition ensures you start your day well informed.

No paywalls, no clickbait, no ads
Enjoy beautiful reading

Content is only half the story. The world's best news experience is free from distraction: ad-free, clickbait-free, and beautifully designed.

Expert Curation
The news you need to know

Stories are ranked by proprietary algorithms based on importance and curated by real news journalists to ensure that you receive the most important stories as they break.

Dive Deeper:
Case of retired geologist held in Iraq raised repeatedly, minister says
Father-of-two Jim Fitton has been detained in Iraq for more than six weeks.
Trial date for retired British geologist facing smuggling allegations in Iraq
UK ministers have faced fresh pleas to personally raise the case of Jim Fitton with their Iraqi counterparts.
Retired Brit facing death penalty for 'stealing artefacts' to stand trial in Iraq
Father-of-two Jim Fitton, 66, was arrested and slung in an Iraqi jail after trying to take home 12 stones and…
British man found with ancient shards in Iraq to stand trial
The lawyer of a British national accused by Iraq of possessing small archaeological fragments will be tried next week
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Daughter of Briton facing death penalty in Iraq ‘heartbroken and afraid’ as father misses wedding
‘The horrible, but very real, possibility of the death penalty is hanging over us,’ Leila Fitton says
Jim Fitton: Briton facing death penalty in Iraq ‘did not know he had broken law’
Retired geologist says there were no guards or signage alerting him to fact taking items was prohibited
Get all your news in one place