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Dutch man on trial over Iraq war crimes

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Dutch man on trial over Iraq war crimes


The hearing has begun of a Dutchman accused of helping Saddam Hussein commit war crimes and genocide. Frans van Anraat is charged with supplying the former Iraqi leader with thousands of tonnes of raw materials used to make chemical weapons.

Today is a preliminary session, with the trial due to begin in earnest in November. Van Anraat risks life in prison if found guilty. It is alleged the 62-year-old acted as a middleman to help the Iraqis produce the gases used in the 1988 attack on the Kurdish town of Halabja. An estimated 5,000 people died there. Van Anraat has denied knowing what the chemicals would be used for. It is believed the mustard gas and nerve gas originally came from Japan and the US.
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