While visiting archaeological and geological sites in Iraq, Jim Fitton, a retired British geologist, collected 12 stones and shards of broken pottery for souvenirs from the archaeological site of Erdo in southern Iraq.
But the surprise was that the Iraqi state considered that breaking these pieces is an antiquities smuggling operation because its history goes back more than 200 years. Therefore, Fitton was arrested along with the German tourist "Volker Waldman" after finding the pieces in their possession at Baghdad Airport on March 20, and he is still suspended until today
Fitton insisted that he had no idea that he was violating Iraqi laws, especially since those laws could impose the death penalty on both defendants.
He is still in detention from March 20 and the hearing was postponed for an additional two weeks, which made Wera Hobhouse, MP for Bath, Fyton's hometown, to state that she thinks about Jim every day and that the two extra weeks in his detention cell represent a severe ordeal...