Chemical Ali's Dutch Connection Goes on Trial

The trial started for the Dutch business man who sold chemicals to Iraq after a ban in the 1980’s:

Frans van Anraat, 63, appeared before a war crimes court in The Hague, charged in connection with the 1988 chemical attacks on Halabja.

Prosecutors say he continued to supply industrial chemicals to Iraq after an export ban in 1984.

Mr Van Anraat denies knowing what the chemicals would be used for.

According to the prosecution, chemicals he supplied were used in the mustard gas attack on Halabja, in Kurdish northern Iraq, which killed more than 5,000 people…

Prosecutors say the Dutchman had been a suspect since 1989, when he was arrested in Milan, Italy, at the request of the US government.

But he was later released and fled to Iraq, where he remained until 2003.

After the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003, he returned to the Netherlands and was arrested in December 2004 at his Amsterdam home.

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