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Dutch dealer of Saddam's chemicals sentenced to 15 years prison

Sardasht, W. Azarbaijan Prov, April 16, IRNA - One of witnesses of France Von Right dossier, related to a Dutch middleman accused of selling Saddam's Ba'thist regime chemicals said here Monday Hague Appeals Court approved of Von Right's 15 years behind bars sentence.

Leila Ma'roufzadeh, one of the victims of Saddam's generals' criminal chemical bombardment of Sardasht, who had attended the Hague Court of Justice as one of the witnesses told IRNA upon return home to Sardasht that the sentence was issued keeping in mind complaints of the Islamic Republic of Iran, witnesses, and reports of international community organizations."

Ma'roufzadeh said that the verdict was a clear sign for the crimes committed by the former Iraqi regime, as well as those Western governments and commercial firms that backed it up in its crimes, such as providing it with chemicals to be used in bombs.

She described the reports made by international societies at the court "quite shattering", reiterating, "In accordance with those reports, Western companies affiliated to German, Dutch, US, Egyptian, and British governments during the eight years of the Iraqi imposed war against Iran in addition to 19,000 tons of various types of chemicals and poisonous gases, also assisted Saddam's regime in manufacturing of chemical weapons."

According to Ma'roufzadeh, it was revealed at the court that in the process of manufacturing those weapons of mass destruction (WMD), more than 450 Western companies cooperated with Iraq, that were mainly German, American, Dutch, and British.

She added, "It was stated in the reports that out of 19,000 tons of chemical gases, 18,500 tons were mustard gas and nerve gas (tabon) and some 600 tons of it was the more effective sarin nerve gas, entirely used against defenseless Iranian civilians in cities, and the Iranian combatants at war fronts."

This chemical weapons victim added, "It was stated in reports of the international organs during the court hearings that the Ba'thist regime of Saddam during the eight years of the imposed war bombarded at least 350 residential regions, including villages, towns and cities in Iran, and vastly used chemical weapons against Iranian combatants at war fronts."

Ma'roufzadeh said, "The criminal culprit kept insisting he knew nothing about the usage of chemicals for military purposes by the ousted Iraqi regime, trying to flee justice, but the judges presenting authentic proof made certain for the judge that he even knew the minutest details, and had even acted in accordance with some Western governments, at times."

She added, "Although the court was held amid a calm atmosphere, far from political hue and cry, the signs of Islamic Republic of Iran's ighteousness and its being oppressed were deeply felt throughout the hearings, so that some of the attendants expressed surprise over the dimensions of crimes committed against Iranians throughout the war."

The 64 year old Dutch merchant who was summoned to the Hague Court of Justice and had fled to Iraq with a set of fake documents hoping to be acquitted, was identified there by a Western reporter, arrested by coalition forces there and delivered to Hague in 2006.

Sardasht boarder township was in the year 1987 chemically bombed four times, during which 115 civilians, including children, women, and elderly folks were martyred, and thousands more lost their health for good.

Sardasht is the first city in the world that was chemically attacked with chemical weapons, and has the greatest population of living chemical victims among entire cities in the world today.

The Ba'thist regime of Iraq after massive chemical bombardment of Sardasht noticed the dead-like silence observed by the international community, and was encouraged to do the same in Halabja, in Iraqi Kurdistan, which was reflected more broadly, maybe since Saddam was there attacking his own country's citizens there.

... Payvand News - 4/17/07 ... --

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