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Dutch prosecutors fight appeal by chemical supplier convicted of selling to Saddam

[JURIST] Dutch prosecutors Monday sought to introduce documents from the ongoing genocide trial [JURIST news archive; BBC trial timeline] of Saddam-era Iraqi officials for the gassing deaths of Kurds in the so-called "Anfal" campaign [HRW backgrounder] to oppose an appeal [JURIST report] by a Dutch businessman convicted of selling chemicals used in the attacks. Frans Van Anraat [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] was convicted last year of selling raw materials to Iraq that ultimately were used in the 1988 gas attack against Kurds in the town of Halabja [JURIST report] which killed 5,000 people. The Hague Appeals Court is considering two appeals - one by Anraat against his conviction of complicity in war crimes [JURIST report], and one by Dutch prosecutors appealing Anraat's acquittal of complicity in genocide.

Prosecutors sought to introduce a 1992 memo from special security forces of Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] granting Anraat an Iraqi passport based on his "valuable services" to Iraq, which included providing "chemical and other rare materials." Anraat maintains that he was unaware that the chemicals would be used for anything other than industrial purposes. The Hague Appeals Court is expected to return a verdict in May. If Anraat's genocide acquittal is reversed, he could face up to 30 years in prison. AP has more.

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