Local News

Family expects no charges against Fayetteville contractors

Posted June 8, 2009

— Family in Fayetteville expect that father-and-son contractors will be released from custody in Baghdad without charges.

Donald Feeney Jr., 55, and his namesake, Donald Feeney III, 31, are among five contractors in Iraq being detained in the investigation of the slaying of another American in Baghdad's Green Zone.

Donald Feeney Jr. is the founder Corporate Training Unlimited, a Fayetteville-based security company that has been operating in Iraq since 2003. CTU trains corporate officials on how to avoid terrorists while they are overseas.

The other men, including his son, are CTU employees or business partners, Feeney’s son, John, said Monday.

“The Iraqi security forces are treating them very respectfully,” John Feeney said.

U.S Embassy spokesman James Fennell said the men were in Iraqi custody but said no formal charges have been filed.

The men were detained by Iraqi officials investigating the death of Jim Kitterman, 60, a construction company owner from Houston, whose body was found May 22 in his car in the Green Zone. He had been blindfolded, bound and stabbed.

John Feeney said his father was close friends with Kitterman.

“He’s devastated by the loss and is trying to contact the family to see if there’s anything we can do or if there’s anything they need,” he said.

His father was out of Iraq at the time of Kitterman’s death, John Feeney said. “I’m not sure how our names got out there, or how we got involved in it,” he said. “Nobody’s clarified that with me yet.”

Police spokesman Maj. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf said the Americans were being held at an Iraqi police station inside the Green Zone "in connection with a joint U.S.-Iraqi investigation" into Kitterman's death but gave no further details.

"Until now, the detained persons are suspects and no formal charges have been filed against them," he told The Associated Press.

A U.S. official familiar with the case said the five were being investigated for allegations other than murder. He spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was continuing.
Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani, who supervises Iraqi police, said it appeared that Kitterman was killed because of an undisclosed "financial situation."

The five were believed to be the first Americans taken into Iraqi custody since the U.S.-Iraqi security agreement went into effect this year. The agreement removed immunity from Iraqi law enjoyed by private U.S. contractors since the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime in 2003.

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