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10 Jun 2021

Asharq Al-Awsat

French Supreme Court to examine dismissal of crimes against humanity charges in lawsuit against Lafarge re alleged abuses in Syria

"French Court Investigates Lafarge’s Links to Terrorism in Syria ", 7 Jun 2021

The Court of Cassation, France’s highest judicial body, will investigate Tuesday the activities of industrial company Lafarge in Syria until 2014.

A year and a half ago, the Paris Court of Appeal dropped the charge of “complicity in crimes against humanity” against Lafarge, however, the Court of Cassation is considering six appeals in which the company remains prosecuted for “terrorist financing.”

The group and its two former executives, former security director Jean-Claude Veillard and an ex-director of Lafarge's Syrian subsidiary, Frederic Jolibois are contesting the charges.

Meanwhile, a number of associations want to be a civil party in the case, and former employees of Lafarge in Syria are fighting against dropping the charge of “complicity in crimes against humanity.”...

Lafarge SA group was suspected of paying nearly €13 million via its Syrian subsidiary to extremist groups, including ISIS, to keep its operation going...

An internal report requested by Lafarge-Holcim, which resulted from the merger between French Lafarge and Swiss Holcim in 2015, revealed that the company paid intermediaries to negotiate with “armed groups.” However, the group has always denied any responsibility in relation to the recipient of these funds...

[A decision of the French Supreme Court is expected on 15 July 2021]