Chemical Maker Dropped From Iraq Lawsuit

BALTIMORE (AP) -- A federal judge in Baltimore has dismissed claims by a group of expatriate Iraqi Kurds that the chemical company Alcolac Inc. illegally sold chemical-weapons materials to the Saddam Hussein regime in the 1980s.

The ruling released Thursday leaves the Republic of Iraq as the lone defendant in a class-action lawsuit filed last year by five Iraqi expatriates and the Nashville, Tenn.-based Kurdish National Congress.

Judge Marvin Garbis ruled that Alcolac, as a corporation, cannot be held liable under the Torture Victim Protection Act.

Garbis also found that the plaintiffs had not established that Alcolac provided chemicals to Iraq for the purpose of facilitating genocide against the Kurdish people.

Alcolac was based at the time in Baltimore. It is now owned by the Paris-based Rhodia group.