This will be interesting to watch, as the arrested contractor and his company have ties to KBR..from Jurist:
Five US contractors have been arrested by Iraqi officials for their alleged involvement in the May death of an American in Baghdad's Green Zone, according to Sunday reports. The suspects are not yet charged but may be the first Americans to face trial in an Iraqi court since the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between the US and Iraq took effect in January. The agreement removed any immunity that private US contractors had under Iraqi law, allowing for the five accused to be tried. Jim Kitterman, an owner of a construction company, was found dead, bound, blindfolded, and stabbed in his car in late May. A US official anonymously disclosed that the investigations involved possible charges other than murder. Kitterman's death is believed to be the first criminal killing of an American in the Green Zone since it was established in 2003.
Americans killing American's in Iraq? WTF? From the LATimes link:
A relative of two of the suspects insisted that the men were innocent and would be released within a couple of days. John Feeney said the suspects included his father, Donald Feeney Jr., brother Donald Feeney III and two other employees of his father's security company, Corporate Training Unlimited, or CTU. A fifth man who lived on their compound was also taken into custody, John Feeney said.
He spoke by telephone from North Carolina, where CTU has its U.S. headquarters.
Donald Feeney Jr has a storied past, from the FayObserver:
Donald Feeney Jr. first made news in 1988 when his company of former commandos spirited a 7-year-old child out of Jordan and reunited her with her mother in Texas.
CTU’s actions caused the U.S. State Department to apologize to Jordanian officials.
Feeney and others have defended the company’s actions, saying people in the United States are defenseless against custody battles involving other countries.
In 1993, Feeney and James Grayson of Florida were found guilty in Iceland of kidnapping Grayson’s daughter and the child’s sister. Feeney spent a year in prison.
Two months after his release, Feeney’s company took a child out of Tunisia in another custody battle.
The U.S. State Department has taken a dim view of Feeney’s actions.
It's gonna get ugly methinks. The Washington Post has a different view on the arrests:
Maj. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said the men were being held at a police station in the Green Zone as part of a joint U.S.-Iraqi investigation. He said FBI agents had provided a tip to Iraqi forces, then accompanied them on a raid at a house where they had uncovered weapons and drugs.
But there were conflicting accounts about the arrest and possible charges.
Fennell said the men were not arrested on suspicion of involvement in the murder of Jim Kitterman, a 60-year-old contractor from Houston. During a search of the men's house, authorities found "possible evidence on an unrelated matter," he said, without disclosing details.
Staaaaaay tuned boys and girls! That SOFA Bush signed has changed the rules for contractors. They can now be tried, convicted and jailed by Iraqi's. More than enough reason to keep your ass in the US..or be really really good whilst working in Iraq.
Update: The rightwing moonie media, the Washington Times is reporting that three of the contractors have been or will be released today.