British geologist jailed in Iraq after taking artefactson June 6, 2022 at 9:43 am

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Jim Fitton, 66, who is charged with artefact smuggling, is sentenced to 15 years.

Jim Fitton with his wife Sarijah

Image source, Jim Fitton

A retired British geologist has been jailed for 15 years for attempting to remove artefacts from Iraq.

Jim Fitton, 66, who is originally from Bath, collected 12 stones and shards of broken pottery during a recent geology and archaeology tour of the country.

Mr Fitton has insisted he had no idea he was breaking Iraqi laws.

A German man arrested alongside Mr Fitton, Volker Waldmann, was acquitted of the same charges. Both were arrested at Baghdad airport on 20 March.

Mr Fitton’s lawyer said he would appeal the verdict on the grounds there was no criminal intent.

The maximum sentence for removing artefacts is the death penalty.

Jim Fitton with his wife Sarijah and daughter Leila

Image source, Jim Fitton

The court decided to reduce the sentence “because of the advanced age of the accused,” the judge said.

Mr Fitton collected the items as souvenirs while visiting a site in Eridu, in Iraq’s south east.

Iraqi officials have said the fragments could be considered as archaeological pieces as they date back more than 200 years.

The Foreign Office has said it cannot interfere with the judicial process of another country and has made clear its opposition to the death penalty.

Presentational grey line

Follow BBC West on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Send your story ideas to:

- Advertisement -




Japan’s Princess Mako finally marries commoner boyfriend Kei Komuroon October 26, 2021 at 2:37 am

She will lose her royal status and has declined a $1.3m payment for leaving the family.Image source, Getty ImagesJapan's Princess Mako has married her...

Brian Sicknick: US Capitol riot policeman ‘died of natural causes’on April 19, 2021 at 11:30 pm

Officials say Brian Sicknick died after suffering two strokes, a day after being confronted by rioters.Julian Elie Khater, 32, and George Pierre Tanios, 39,...

McClenaghan may have to ‘renounce Irish licence’on May 27, 2022 at 7:35 pm

Northern Ireland's Rhys McClenaghan and two team-mates are told they may have to renounce the Irish nationality on their gymnastics licence if he wants...

Cost of living rises at fastest pace for 30 yearson January 19, 2022 at 7:37 am

The UK's cost of living surged by 5.4% in the 12 months to December, hitting its highest level since 1992.Image source, ReutersThe cost of...

Scilly Isles’ only remaining bank to close in 2022on October 25, 2021 at 5:28 am

Lloyds bank will close in April 2022 with customers being told to use the Post Office instead.