Iraq’s government noted the 20th anniversary of the Halabja massacre March 16 by announcing plans to take legal action against the suppliers of chemicals used in the poison gas attack that killed 5,000 people. “The cabinet decided to take legal measures to sue the companies who provided the ex-regime with the chemical weapons used in Halabja,” the statement said, without naming the companies.
In 2005, a court in The Netherlands sentenced a Dutch businessman to 15 years in prison—later upped to 17 years—for supplying the raw materials for poison gas to Saddam Hussein’s regime. Saddam’s cousin, “Chemical Ali” Hassan al-Majeed, was sentenced to death last June for his role in the genocidal 1988 campaign against the Kurds, but legal wrangles have held up his execution. (Reuters, March 12)