AIVD 'contacted chemical dealer in Iraq'

21st December 2004, Comments 0 comments

21 December 2004 , AMSTERDAM — The Dutch intelligence agency AIVD was in contact with suspected illegal chemicals dealer Frans van Anraat while he was hiding from US authorities in Iraq, it has been reported.

21 December 2004

AMSTERDAM — The Dutch intelligence agency AIVD was in contact with suspected illegal chemicals dealer Frans van Anraat while he was hiding from US authorities in Iraq, it has been reported.

Unnamed sources told newspaper De Volkskrant that the meetings took place in the Dutch embassy in Baghdad, despite the fact that Van Anraat was on the US 'Most Wanted' list at the time. The newspaper had already suggested Van Anraat was an informer for the AIVD.

It said the AIVD wanted information from Van Anraat, 62, about Saddam Hussein's illicit weapons programmes in Iraq. The Interior Ministry, which oversees the AIVD, provided Van Anraat with a 'safe house' upon his return from 13 years in exile in Iraq. He was still on the run from US authorities.

But Dutch justice officials have also taken an active interest in his case, arresting Van Anraat on 6 December. Van Anraat is accused of complicity to genocide and war crimes committed by the former Iraqi regime. He allegedly shipped materials to make mustard gas and other nerve agents to Iraq between 1984 and 1998.

The alleged AIVD link to Van Anraat makes the case highly sensitive. De Volkskrant also said the security service had in the past arranged an emergency passport for Van Anraat which could only be used to return to the Netherlands.

The passport might have been left behind in Italy, where he was arrested in 1989 at the request of the Americans. Van Anraat then fled to Iraq after he was released from detention pending extradition. Iraq had no extradition treaty with the US, which eventually abandoned its request for extradition in 2000.
  
The AIVD provided a house in Amsterdam West for Van Anraat upon his return, but the relationship between the security service and Van Anraat did not prevent his arrest earlier this month. He is facing maximum jail terms of life and 20 years.

Neither the Dutch embassy in Baghdad nor the Foreign Affairs Ministry in The Hague is prepared to comment on the matter. The Dutch Parliament will decide later on Tuesday whether to hold an emergency debate about the issue.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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