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Iraq to free British national jailed in antiquities case

This undated photo provided by the Fitton family shows Jim Fitton with his wife Sarijah. (Fitton family via AP)
This undated photo provided by the Fitton family shows Jim Fitton with his wife Sarijah. (Fitton family via AP)

An Iraqi court has overturned the conviction and 15-year sentence handed to a British pensioner last month for antiquities smuggling, says the retiree’s lawyer.

James Fitton had been charged under a 2002 law against “intentionally taking or trying to take out of Iraq an antiquity,” the maximum penalty for which under the country’s legal code is death by hanging.

The conviction has been “overturned today by the Court of Cassation and my client will soon be free,” lawyer Thaer Saoud tells AFP.

Fitton stood trial alongside German national Volker Waldmann, who was acquitted. Both men had pleaded not guilty.

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