- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 11, 2009

The State Department said Thursday that one of five Americans arrested in connection with the killing of a contractor in Baghdad’s Green Zone has been released on bond.

The agency would not give the name of the American released from an Iraqi jail. However, attorney Timothy M. Haake has identified the American as his client, Donald Feeney Jr., 55, the owner of Raleigh, N.C.-based Corporate Training Unlimited security firm.

Mr. Haake has also identified the four other men in custody as Mr. Feeney’s son, Donald “Buddy” Feeney III, 31; Mark Bridges; Micah Milligan; and Jason Jones. Mr. Feeney, Mr. Bridges and Mr. Milligan work for the Feeney’s firm. Mr. Jones is employed by another security firm working in Baghdad.

The case is the first under a 2008 agreement in which U.S. contractors are subject to criminal law in Iraq.

State Department spokesman Darby Holladay said the four men still in custody have not been formally charged but remain under investigation.

The men were arrested June 3 by Iraqi security forces following a joint investigation with U.S. officials. The forces raided the home in which the men were staying, reportedly to find the killer, and apparently were arrested on weapons violations, Mr. Haake said Wednesday.

“We really don’t know why the were arrested,” he said. “A lot of weapons were in there. There were concerns about whether some of them were properly registered or the registrations had expired.”

He said Thursday he expects the others will soon be released.

The contractor has been identified as Jim Kitterman, 60, of Houston. He was found dead May 22 inside the Green Zone with his throat cut and multiple stab wounds to his body.

The agreement under which U.S. contractors can be arrested and tried by the Iraq government follows a Sept. 2007 incident in which employees of the Blackwater security company fatally shot 17 Iraqis in Baghdad’s Nisour Square. Company employees were escorting a convoy of State Department vehicles.

Five of the contract employees face charges in a U.S. court of manslaughter and using a firearm in a violent crime.

Mr. Holladay said Mr. Feeney also remains under investigation and must stay in Iraq “pending final determination by an Iraqi judge on whether formal charges will be filed.”

He also said the U.S. Embassy continues to closely follow the case and that officials have visited the detainees and have found them in good condition.

Mr. Haake said an Iraqi judge essentially acts as a grand jury in deciding whether to pursue charges against U.S. contractors arrested.

Mr. Fenney started Corporate Training Unlimited in 1986 and has performed contract work in Iraq since 2003, according to the company Web site.

Prior to founding the company, Mr. Feeney was a member of the Army’s Delta Force counter-terrorism unit and chief security consultant for Solomon Brothers, a New York-based diamond and jewelry company.

The company began work in Iraq as a personal-security service for the Kellogg Brown & Root engineering and construction company. The company also works in Hong Kong and the Philippines and has had at least three employees killed in Iraq.

Reporter Michelle Bollman contributed to this story.

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