Iraq court adjourned over Briton's mental report

23rd January 2011, Comments 0 comments

The trial of a British guard accused of shooting dead two colleagues in Baghdad's Green Zone was adjourned on Sunday as the court sought clarification over his psychiatric report, his lawyer said.

A psychiatric evaluation of Danny Fitzsimons had said he suffered from post traumatic stress disorder but added that he was aware of his actions and their consequences. The court asked for further clarity on the report.

"The accused explained what happened for the first time in the case," defence lawyer Tariq Harb told reporters after the hearing, which journalists were not allowed to attend.

"The court case adjourned until February 20 to explain the medical report -- there was a sentence in his evaluation that the court wanted explained.

"The evaluation said that he suffers from post traumatic stress disorder, but he remains aware of his actions and their consequences. The court referred back to the court-appointed doctors to explain this," Harb said.

Fitzsimons, an employee of British-based security firm ArmorGroup, was arrested after fellow Briton Paul McGuigan and Australian Darren Hoare were shot dead in a reportedly alcohol-fuelled brawl on August 9, 2009.

His trial has been repeatedly delayed in recent months. It was originally scheduled to begin at Karkh criminal court in west Baghdad in January 2010 but was postponed several times.

The former security guard, 29 at the time of the incident and from Manchester, has been quoted by British newspapers as saying he was acting in self-defence.

Just days after the shootings, however, Fitzsimons's family said he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and should not have been posted to Baghdad.

© 2011 AFP

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