On 10 June 2013, after over 4 years of research, compiling tens of thousands of documents and testimony, we filed in Le Grande Tribunal (High Court), Paris, France, our initial complaint (criminal compliant with a civil claim constitution de partie civil) it what will be a series of lawsuits against the approximately two dozen European companies that intentionally or knowingly weaponized the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq, knowing and intending that Saddam would conduct a massive genocidal campaign against Iraqi Kurd civilians. Under French law, the names of the alleged defendants may not be disclosed at this time.
On 27 August 2013, the French government, after an intensive investigation and evaluation of the law and facts which we plead, announced that it supports the commencement of an investigation on charges of mass murder, attempted mass murder, and illegal profiting from a criminal enterprise. Investigating judge (juge d’instruction) Ms. Emmanuelle Ducos, has been appointed to determine whether to case can proceed to trial.
The investigation in France is continuing and is robust.
We intend to bring additional claims against [West] German companies who were also complicity in these crimes.
Starting in August, 1983, the Baathist government of Iraq, under Saddam Hussein, commenced deploying chemical weapons (“CW”) against Iranian forces. In 1987, Iraq launched a series of attacks against the Kurdish population of Iraq, which would kill as many as 180,000 civilians, destroy over 4000 villages, and depopulate areas of Kurdistan. This campaign commenced with CW attacks on Kurd villages in the Balisan valley, and continued throughout a highly-organized, genocidal campaign called Anfal, until late 1988. While most of the murders were committed with conventional weapons and mass executions, it is estimated that devastating CW attacks were perpetrated against over 400 Kurds villages, killing thousands of people and virtually all animals and then the physical destruction of entire towns. CW attacks were essential to enabling this mass slaughter. The Iraqi army would surround an area of Kurd towns and villages, and commence massive CW bombing of villages throughout the area, terrorizing the people and resulting in a panic and massive flood of people fleeing into the waiting arms of the Iraqi army. The Kurds were then transported to mass grave sits in the desert, and killed, in many cases buried alive. According to CIA estimates, Iraq deployed over 100,000 chemical weapons during this period against Iranian military and civilians, Kurds, Shia and others.
The massive Iraqi CW program reached production levels of 6 tons of mustard gas and 8 tons of sarin and tabun per month; the largest CW factories in the world during the Cold War! While 427 Western companies had some role in building the CW plants and supplying the raw materials for the poison gases, over 20 West German, French, Dutch, Swiss and Spanish companies play central roles, and whose involvement was so pervasive and central, that it is undeniable that these companies and their managers, knowingly, intentionally and purposefully provided the Saddam regime with the most lethal chemical weapons ever developed.
We currently represent over 4000 estates (wrongful death, pain and suffering claims) and approximate 1000 survivors of the CW attacks. Most are quite ill and suffering the continuing effects of the poison gases. The overwhelming majority of our clients were harmed in the attacks on Halabja, the showcase CW attack against the Kurds, on 16 March 1988. However, we shall continue to add claimants from many of the other villages that were attacked with CWs.
In a recording which we have obtained of Ali Hassan al Majid al Takriti (“Chemical Ali”), regarding the organized, widespread and systematic campaign to eliminate all human and animal life in large areas of Kurdistan, Iraq.
“I said I cannot let your village stay because I will attack it with chemical weapons. Then you and your family will die. You must leave right now. Because I cannot tell you the same day that I am going to attack with chemical weapons. I will kill them all with chemical weapons! Who is going to say anything? The international community? Fuck them! The international community and those who listen to them… This is my intention, and I want you to take serious note of it. As soon as we complete the deportations, we will start attacking them everywhere according to a systematic military plan. Even their strongholds. In our attacks we will take back one third or one half of what is under their control. If we can try to take two-thirds, then we will surround them in a small pocket and attack them with chemical weapons. I will not attack them with chemicals just one day, but I will continue to attack them with chemicals for fifteen days… I told the expert comrades that I need guerrilla groups in Europe to kill whoever they see from them [the saboteurs]. I will do it, with the help of God.”