A chemical weapons expert in Saddam Hussein’s brutal regime that gassed 100,000 people has been living in Britain for more than a decade.

The Iraqi scientist, a former brigadier general, claimed refugee status after arriving on a work visa.

Home Secretary Priti Patel tried to have him kicked out – but he was allowed to stay after insisting he faced execution if he had quit his role.

Judges ruled the man can only be referred to by the initials ASA.

He took his case to the Upper Tribunal of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber and it ruled in his favour in July, a decision highlighted today by the Sunday Mirror.

Colonel Hamish De Bretton Gordon is outraged that the Iraqi general is allowed to live here (

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Martin Bagott)

But former Army Colonel Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, who advised the Iraqi Kurds on chemical weapons, said he found the ruling “staggering”.

He told the Sunday Mirror: “Asylum is there to protect people from persecution by rogue governments – not to protect rogue government employees from retribution from those who have suffered at their hands.

“I would not support his asylum for the heinous crimes he has been involved in. He might not be directly responsible but he is complicit. He should be tried at the International Criminal Court.”

ASA fled to Jordan before arriving in Britain in 2010. He came on a visa after landing a post as a researcher for a university in North West England, the court was told. He later claimed refugee status. When that was revoked by the Home Office he appealed.

Saddam pictured in 1983 (

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Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

The ruling in his favour came despite the court finding there were “serious reasons for considering he was responsible for committing a crime against peace, a war crime or a crime against humanity”.

The judge was told ASA managed a lab at the Al Muthanna chemical weapons centre near Samarra from 1981 to 1988.

At the time Iraq was engaged in a campaign of bombing against Iran using agents such as mustard gas, sarin, tabun, CS and VX gas.

In 2003 – when Saddam Hussein was captured and hanged – ASA was identified as a high-ranking figure in the ruling Ba’ath Party, it was said.

Chemical warfare agent filled 500 pound aerial bombs awaiting destruction by UN Inspectors at Muthanna SE after the Gulf war

But he avoided punishment after giving information to US forces, helping them “unravel Saddam Hussein’s weapons projects”, the court heard.

ASA claimed he could not return to Iraq as he feared he would be imprisoned and tortured due to his Sunni Muslim faith and his “perceived connection with the Ba’ath Party as an academic”.

He told the court he was “aware” there was production of chemical weapons at Al Muthanna but said he “did not contribute towards the development of chemical weapons”.

He claimed to have worked only in “detection and counter­measures”.

The Upper Tribunal’s Judge Allen found ASA was “properly regarded” as “a person who has aided and abetted the commission of crimes against peace, war crimes or crimes against humanity”. But he said there had been “a constant and ongoing threat” that if ASA did not continue his work for the regime then “he and his family would face a real risk of significant ill-harm”.

It is understood British officials are now considering taking the case to a higher court. ASA was represented by Britain’s leading asylum law firm, Duncan Lewis.

Last October it emerged they had received £55million in legal aid fees in the previous three years. It is not known if ASA received legal aid.

Former Army officer Mr de Bretton-Gordon added: “As a brigadier, ASA would be a very senior ranking person in the regime.

“The Saddam Hussein chemical weapons programme not only killed thousands and thousands of Kurds and Iranians, it also provided the backbone for al-Qaeda.

“He has been involved in the worst atrocities seen in the last 50 years.”

The Home Office had no comment.

Harnessing of science that led to a million dead

Since then it is thought they have killed more than a million people.

In 1935 Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini used lung-scorching mustard gas to destroy Emperor Haile Selassie’s army in Ethiopia. Japan also used it in the Second World War, while in the 1960s the US dropped napalm and herbicide Agent Orange in Vietnam.

Italian dictator Benito Mussolini was evil (

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Getty)
Russian double agent Sergei Skripal, 66, with his daughter Yulia Skripal - who were both poisoned by a nerve agent (

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Enterprise News and Pictures)

The 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention banned their development, stockpiling and use from 1997.

Yet in 2013 Syria killed thousands with sarin gas in its civil war, while in March 2018 Russia used nerve agent novichok against double-agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury.

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