Private security firm Erinys Intl. sued in UK over shooting of civilians in Iraq

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Company response
12 January 2009

Response to Observer article of 11th January 2009

Author: Erinys International

...the Observer notes that an English law firm, Leigh Day & Co, ‘is suing’ Erinys (UK) Ltd in respect of an incident that took place in Iraq in October 2007...The incident happened...when employees of Erinys Iraq Ltd (a company in which Erinys International Ltd holds a minority interest) were stopping traffic on the road between Kirkuk and Sulaymaniyah...The taxi in which Leigh Day & Co’s clients were travelling unaccountably ignored the queue of stationary vehicles...three rounds were fired, but the bullets ricocheted off the road and impacted the taxi windscreen, with two of the bullets entering the taxi...Erinys Iraq Ltd sincerely regrets the injuries to the passengers of the taxi, but it is clear from a review of the facts that all injury would have been avoided had the taxi driver...observed normal practice in Iraq at that time.

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Article
11 January 2009

Iraq victims sue UK security firm

Author: Mark Townsend, Observer [UK]

[Erinys International] is being sued over allegations that its men opened fire on unarmed civilians and then drove away, leaving an Iraqi brother and sister fighting for their lives. The case, the first of its kind brought by British lawyers against a private security contractor in Iraq, claims employees of…Erinys fired from a 4x4 vehicle at an approaching taxi in north Iraq…[L]awyers Leigh Day allege that Erinys guards "committed unlawful assaults" against [the three victims]…Erinys said they had warned the taxi before opening fire, though the Iraqis maintain they did not notice any…warnings before they were fired on…A senior US army officer appointed to investigate the incident had concluded, according to the firm, that Erinys had acted properly against a potential suicide bomb attack.

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