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Article

1 Jul 2022

Author:
Reuters,
Author:
// La Libre (Belgique)

French prosecutors open investigation over allegations of Groupe Castel potential complicity in war crimes in Central African Republic

"French prosecutors open war crime probe linked to Groupe Castel unit in CAR -source", 1 Jul 2022

French anti-terrorism prosecutors have opened an investigation into allegations of potential complicity in war crimes made against Groupe Castel in the Central African Republic (CAR)...

A local unit of the French wine, beer and soft drink group is suspected of having made payments to local militia, the source said.

A spokesman for Groupe Castel said the company was fully cooperating with French authorities on the matter, and that an internal investigation following the first accusations had shown no evidence of wrongdoing.

Non-governmental organisation The Sentry earlier said the probe had been launched after it submitted a report detailing how a subsidiary of Groupe Castel, SUCAF RCA, may have made payments to the militia groups responsible for torture, rape, and mass killings.

Groupe Castel runs a sugar operation in the CAR, a country that has been racked by violent conflicts for years.

The source close to the matter said the probe that opened in Paris did not formally target the group or executives, but had been opened “against X”, which allows prosecutors to investigate in all directions...