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Briton leaves Iraq after antiquities conviction quashed


LONDON (AP) — A retired British geologist jailed in Iraq for antiquities smuggling has been freed and has left the country. Jim Fitton was sentenced last month to 15 years in an Iraqi prison. A Baghdad appeals court overturned the conviction and last week ordered his release. He has now been reunited with family in Malaysia, where he lives. Son-in-law Sam Tasker said Fitton arrived at Kuala Lumpur airport on Friday, and the family was “absolutely over the moon.” Fitton was arrested in March at Baghdad Airport and charged under antiquities laws that carried the possibility of a death sentence. Many feared the incident would deter tourists from visiting Iraq, where the government hopes to grow a budding tourism sector.

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