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Germans convicted for helping Libya with poison gas plant

October 31, 1997

MOENCHENGLADBACH, Germany (AP) _ Two German businessmen have been convicted of shipping weapons technology to Libya and sentenced to more than three years each in prison.

A state court said Thursday that Udo Buczkowski and Detlev Crusius had delivered $10 million worth of computers and other equipment to Libya from 1990-93, knowing it would be used for a poison gas plant.

Both men said they did not initially know the equipment would be used militarily but conceded during the three-week trial that they did realize it later. They said they were drawn into the deal by Lebanese partner Berge Balanian, who remains at large.

Since 1990, at least five other Germans have been convicted of providing Libya technical equipment and other material intended for manufacture of poison gas, and sentenced to prison.

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