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Iraqi Court Sentences Briton To Life In Jail

An Iraqi court has convicted a British security guard and sentenced him to life imprisonment for killing a British and an Australian security contractors.

Danny Fitzsimons was said to be the first Westerner to be convicted in an Iraqi court since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

Fitzsimons, 30, could have faced the death penalty.

His Iraqi lawyer, Tariq Harb, said that under Iraqi law life in prison was equivalent to 20 years.

Fitzsimons, a former British soldier, had insisted that he had acted in self-defense during an alcohol-fueled brawl in Baghdad's Green Zone in August 2009.

Foreign security contractors had not been subject to Iraqi law until the beginning of 2009, when a security agreement between the United States and Iraq lifted their immunity.

compiled from agency reports