06/10/2012 RUDAW – By WLADIMIR van WILGENBURG – ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — The Dutch Public Prosecution Service (OM) has appealed to take from convicted Dutch businessman Frans van Anraat 1 million Euro he made as profit selling chemicals to the regime of Saddam Hussein.
Van Anraat claims that he spent the money after fleeing Iraq following the fall of Hussein’s regime in 2003.
Van Anraat was sentenced to 17 years imprisonment for selling chemicals to the government in Baghdad, knowing it was being used by the Iraqi army against Iran and its own Kurdish population in the 1980s. 5000 civilians were killed in Halabja after Iraqi jets dropped chemical bombs on the Kurdish town near the Iranian border in 1988. An earlier court rule demanded Van Anraat to pay back 3,500 euros, because it could not be proved that the entire amount was earned in delivering chemicals to the Baath-regime.
Dana Halabjaiy, chairman of the Foundation of the Halabja Monument in the Netherlands, wonders what will happen with the money. “A Dutch businessman earned money, and now the government gets the money. We are still victims. This is good for justice in the Netherlands, but not for Halabja. The money should go to a hospital or the rebuilding of this city which was destroyed by chemical weapons.” In 2009, Kurdish victims of Saddam Hussein’s chemical attacks demanded compensation from Frans van Anraat. A ruling on the case is expected within weeks.