Dutch businessman goes on trial for chemical weapons sales

A court in the Hague recently held a hearing on a chemical arms deal between a Dutch businessman, Frans van Anraat, and former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

A group of Iranians who were disabled by chemical weapons during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s have filed a lawsuit against Anraat for his dealings with Baghdad, according to FarsNews.com.

A report by the Iranian embassy in the Hague said that the attorney representing the victims demanded that Anraat pay reparations.

At the hearing, Anraat claimed the materials he sold to Iraq were dual-use items and could have been used in the textile industry, FarsNews.com reports. He also said, if convicted, he did not have the financial means to compensate the victims.

The plaintiffs’ attorney argued it was already proven that the materials in question were used for the manufacture of chemical weapons and that Anraat was fully aware of it. Furthermore, the attorney said, Anraat’s bankruptcy claim was not proven and chances are at least part of the fortune he made is still intact, FarsNews.com reports.

The Hague will continue to investigate the case before it issues a final verdict.

There are thought to be 100,000 Iranians still living with the effects of Iraq’s use of chemical weapons during the war.