MANHATTAN (CN) – Chevron aided the Saddam Hussein regime through $228.8 million in illegal kickbacks in order to “maintain control and power over Iraq” and its oil, a group of families claim in Federal Court. They say Chevron “knowingly aided and abetted the most egregious abuses of human rights by paying kickbacks and other unlawful payments to the Saddam Hussein regime” in violation of international law.
The 50-page lawsuit, filed by Saadya Mastafa, Kafia Ismael, Batul Nur and Afaf and Zahra Rasool, says Chevron paid kickbacks and illegal surcharges to the Saddam regime in the Oil-For-Food Program, and that Hussein “used the illicit funds” to pay for its “campaign of human rights abuses against its people.”
The lawsuit says Hussein earned $228.8 million from the surcharges, which were about 10 to 30 cents per barrel of oil on each of the 9.5 million barrels Chevron lifted.
Chevron “conspired with the Saddam Hussein regime to maintain control and power over Iraq in order to secure mutual financial benefits through the egregious affronts on the human rights of the plaintiffs,” the lawsuit states.
Plaintiff Mustafa says her husband, a nurse in northern Iraq, was captured by Hussein’s regime and held for nearly a year before being hanged along with 14 others. Ismail’s husband was captured and tortured until his death in 2003, according to the complaint.
Nur says she and her two young daughters were tortured and interrogated until they finally escaped the country in 2002.
Plaintiffs seek damage for torture, genocide, wrongful death, negligence and other claims.
Also named as a defendant is Banque National de Paris Paribas S.A., a French Bank.
The lawsuit was filed by John Murray with Murray & Murray.