A Dutch court has ordered a businessman convicted of selling Saddam Hussein raw materials for mustard gas to pay compensation to victims of chemical weapon attacks by the late Iraqi dictator's regime.

The landmark ruling Wednesday is largely symbolic for the 16 survivors involved in the case as the businessman, Hans van Anraat, is serving a prison sentence for selling the chemicals and is believed to be destitute. But it serves as a warning to individuals or businesses who may still try to sell chemicals to tyrants.

The only victim present for the ruling, Rebas Kadir, says he is happy that a message has been sent "that something like this should not and cannot happen."

Van Anraat, who was not in court, was ordered to pay each survivor €25,000 ($32,475).