Iraqi courts sentenced British citizens to 15 years in prison for smuggling relics abroad.

The ruling given to retired geologist Jim Phyton shocked the courts in Baghdad, including his defense counsel.

He and his family claim that 66-year-old Phyton has no criminal intent.

Germans tried in Fitton will be released after the case turns out to have no criminal intent.

“I thought the worst scenario would be a year with outages,” Phyton’s lawyer Tire Saud was clearly shocked and told The Associated Press.

Jim Phyton in the center and Volker Waldmann on the right (Hadi Mizuban / AP)

Judge Jabir Abd Jabir has discovered that he intends to pick up items that have been found to be relics over 200 years old, according to government technical investigations, and to transport them abroad.

The two men first appeared in court on May 15 in yellow detainee uniforms and told judges that they were not acting for criminal purposes and could have violated local law. He said he didn’t know he had sex.

Mr. Phyton said he “suspected” that the items he had collected were ancient debris, but “at that time I was unaware of Iraqi law” or was not allowed to take debris.

As a geologist, Fitton said he has a habit of collecting pieces such as hobbies and does not intend to sell them.

However, the judge did not consider Phyton’s ignorance of Iraqi law and Phyton’s lawyer’s allegations that explained the value of the goods he picked up.

Fitton and German citizen Volker Waldmann were arrested at Baghdad Airport on March 20 after airport guards found an item in their luggage.

They were part of a tourist expedition across the country’s ancient ruins.

Two men appeared in court on Monday (Hadi Mizban / AP)

Fitton’s family was worried when they did not arrive on a regular flight back to Kuala Lumpur, where they live with their wife on March 20.

They later learned that Phyton, a frequent geologist at an oil and gas company, was taken to an airport cell, Phyton’s daughter Leila told AP last month.

The case came to the fore when the British Foreign Ministry was dissatisfied with failing to intervene and support the Phyton case and his family launched a petition with over 100,000 signatures. ..

The British diplomatic mission in Baghdad has not commented on its involvement in the case.

A total of 12 pottery and other debris were found in Fiton’s property by Iraqi authorities, all of which were collected as souvenirs, says the Phyton family.

Mr Waldman’s defense team said German tourists were carrying parts for Phyton, but he did not pick them up from the scene.

Fitton’s lawyer said he would immediately appeal the ruling. It is not clear if Fitton can make a decision in his home country. This requires a bilateral agreement between Iraq and the United Kingdom.

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