Dutch genocide suspect to stay in detention

3rd February 2005, Comments 0 comments

3 February 2005, AMSTERDAM — A court in The Hague extended the remand detention on Wednesday of a Dutchman accused of complicity to genocide on charges he exported raw materials to Iraq in the 1980s to be used in the production of chemical weapons.

3 February 2005

AMSTERDAM — A court in The Hague extended the remand detention on Wednesday of a Dutchman accused of complicity to genocide on charges he exported raw materials to Iraq in the 1980s to be used in the production of chemical weapons.

The ruling comes after the city's appeals court ordered the release of Frans van A. on 28 January. The defendant had appealed against his continued detention and a hearing in chambers ruled that he should be released on Friday 4 February.

But the public prosecutor appealed and last week's ruling was overturned on Wednesday. Van A. — who is accused of supplying ousted Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein with chemicals for the production of mustard gas — will for the time being remain in detention.

At the request of US authorities, Van A. was first arrested in 1989 in Italy. After two months on remand, he was released pending extradition, but fled to Iraq, where he stayed until the US-led invasion in March 2003. He then fled to Syria and subsequently to the Netherlands, where he was re-arrested in December last year.

He is accused of exporting thousands of tonnes of raw materials to Iraq between 1984 and 1988. The Iraqi regime used chemical weapons in the 1980-88 war against Iran and against the Kurds in northern Iraq.

The Dutch prosecutor suspects Van A. was involved in 36 shipments to Baghdad. He faces maximum sentences of life imprisonment and 20 years respectively for complicity to commit genocide and war crimes.

But according to Dutch media, Van A. was also an informant of the Dutch intelligence service AIVD. He is believed to have previously been supplied with a "safe house" provided by the Dutch Interior Ministry.

The authorities have not confirmed or denied the reports, nor have they explained why Van A. might have been placed under the protection of the Dutch government. But it was reported last month that the AIVD wants information from Van A. about Saddam Hussein's illicit weapons programmes.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

 

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