Legal liability of foreign companies for Halabja genocide part three31/01/2012 13:33
ERBIL, Jan. 31 (AKnews) - 3 - Mobilize the case against foreign companies and people involved.
In this four part series legal expert Munther Al-Fadl explores the legal responsibility of those foreigners and Iraqis who have escaped prosecution for the horrors of Halabja.
In parts one and two Fadl laid down the law and explored the principle that all those that aided in the supply and manufacture of chemical weapons should be held to account. In part three he sets out how foreign companies and individuals should be brought to book.
There is strong evidence to suggest that dozens of foreign companies, as well as foreign agents, supplied Saddam's regime with chemical weapons and the technical and military expertise to use them. This was purely motivated by commercial gain. They acted against international law and against all moral and human values.
Some Arab countries' criminal assistance was bought with oil. Kuwait's representative to the United Nations Security Council at the time of the 1988 Halabja massacre declared that Saddam did not use poison gas in war!
Trying to smooth out the wrinkles caused by a moral vacuum and broken international laws, Saddam sent delegations to countries around the world, including Sweden and Britain. These apparatchiks denied the use of chemical weapons and exonerated their Baathist masters of ever dreaming of using the forbidden weapons against the Kurds of Halabja.
Some of these reprehensible companies were held to account having broken laws in their own countries. Others escaped their responsibilities because they changed their names, ceased trading after the end of the Iran-Iraq war, they were dummy companies or because they were powerful state-owned companies.
Dutch arms dealer Frans van Anraat is one of the most notorious merchants of death to be tried for their hand in Halabja. A Dutch court convicted him of complicity in war crimes. He sold thousands of tons of raw materials to make chemical weapons and was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Dec. 23 2005.
At the trial the Dutch public prosecutor said Van Anraat bought chemicals from Japan and the U.S. These materials were shipped through Rotterdam to Aqaba in Jordan and there taken by road to Iraq.
When footage recorded in the aftermath of the attacks on Halabja was shown during his trial, this killer remained silent. No remorse or emotion showed in his face.
The trial proceedings point out that presence of other Dutch companies supplied the former regime with the raw materials for their toxic weapons, including the millionaire Hans Melcers owner of Melchima group.
Other countries provided the regime with expertise or the precursor chemicals for the production of internationally banned weapons. They include bulwarks of the international community and the sainted paragons of the West: Germany, USA, France, Sweden, Portugal, Australia, Brazil, Egypt, Nigeria, China, Russia and South Korea.
Amer Hammoudi al-Saadi, Minister of Industry and Saddam's adviser for scientific affairs, and Iraq's ambassador to Germany, Abdul-Ghani Abdul-Jabbar, had an active role in getting the precursor compounds from German companies.
It is worth mentioning that most foreign companies that supplied Saddam with chemicals produced or traded in fertilizers and pesticides. Dual-use Chemical industries of that can be used in war and peace. These companies surely knew that these materials will not be used for peaceful purposes by Saddam.
There are clearly many parties who have dodged their responsibility for what Saddam did. They have evaded paying their dues for some of the most barbaric acts in the history of our civilization. The time has come for them to be brought to book and make amends for their part.
1 - Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons OPCW, based in The Hague - Netherlands
Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and their Destruction
The Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
And also see about chemical disarmament and non-proliferation of chemical weapons and international cooperation and the universality of the Convention
2 - The International Court of Justice
3 - One of the brothers who was a victim of chemical weapons in Halabja called me from Germany. Mr Majid Habib al-Tai, an Arab from Sadr City in Baghdad, who worked with the Shiite opposition and escaped for to Kurdistan as a safe haven. He entered Halabja to escape tyranny of authoritarian rule. His fate was to witness Saddam's crimes in the bombing of Halabja with chemical weapons
He was one of the victims and he is still receiving treatment in Iranian and German hospitals. Strangely enough, he has high spirits and does not think of his legitimate rights of getting material and moral compensation as much as thinking of documenting Saddam's crimes. He wrote an article in which describes his suffering.
His condition is thoroughly presented in the detailed essay (The Chemical Died ... and I'm still alive) published on many websites:
For more interesting details about the Iraq-Iran war and the scale of losses, chemical strikes and the countries that helped Saddam see the important book by the Egyptian Defense Minister: The Iraqi-Iranian war - Marshal Abdul Halim Abu Ghazala -- 1994 p. 6, 60, 66, 172, 239, and p. 241.