Lawsuits against the government of Iraq and a company that sold precursor chemicals to Saddam Hussein’s regime go forward

News from the KNC Public Relations Committee

Kurdish National Congress of North America                    

Inquiries: info@kncna.org     

On Monday, October 12, 2009, the Associated Press reported that “the Nashville-based Kurdish National Congress and five expatriates filed a dismissal notice Friday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.” This news account has been portrayed by media reports as if the Kurdish National Congress of North America has dropped the lawsuits against the Iraqi government and other companies that sold precursor chemical to Saddam Hussein’s regime. In the wake of this report, many of our fellow Kurds and concerned friends of our people were confused and disheartened by the news.

The facts of the matter are that charges against two, but not all, of the parties have been voluntarily dismissed due to lack of specific evidence.  On Friday, October 9, 2009 our lawyer voluntarily dismissed the lawsuits against two chemical company defendants, including Thermo Fisher, since there was no specific discoverable evidence linking those companies to chemical sales to the former Iraqi regime.

However, the lawsuits against the Iraqi government and Alcolac, Inc. are still in progress. Alcolac is a U. S. based chemical company that sold chemical components to the Iraqi regime which made it possible for the regime to manufacture mustard gas in 1987 and early 1988. The chemicals were sold through an intermediary company based in Holland. The intermediary was found guilty of criminal charges in Holland, and Alcolac pled guilty in Federal Court in Maryland to export violations.  Alcolac has moved to dismiss the lawsuit; but we are working on our opposition to that motion.  

What was reported by the Associated Press was perceived by many as if the KNC has dropped the lawsuits completely. Therefore, we ask the Associated Press and Fox News to correct their account and inform their audience that the lawsuits against Iraqi government and Alcolac are in progress. We are optimistic that the lawsuits will bear fruit for the victims of Halabja and infamous Anfal operations. 

Date published: Friday, October 16, 2009

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