Published on: 05/18/2022 – 14:41 The Paris Court of Appeal confirmed, on Wednesday, the indictment of the cement group Lafarge for “complicity in crimes against humanity” concerning its activities until 2014 in Syria, AFP learned from sources familiar with the matter. The Paris Court of Appeal confirmed, Wednesday, May 18, the indictment for “complicity in crimes against humanity” of the French cement group Lafarge for its activities in Syria until 2014, in accordance with its previous decision which had was overturned by the Court of Cassation. The group announced that it would appeal against this confirmation on appeal. Lafarge, which merged with the Swiss Holcim in 2015, is suspected of having paid nearly 13 million euros to armed groups, including the group Islamic State (IS), to keep its factory in Jalabiya, in northern Syria, in operation in 2013 and 2014. The Paris Court of Appeal had invalidated in 2019 the charge of “complicity in crimes against humanity” , considering that there were no “serious or corroborating indications of complicity” by Lafarge in the crimes committed by IS. But this decision had been canceled in September 2021 by the Court of Cassation, which had argued that one “can be complicit in crimes against humanity even if one has no intention of being associated with the commission of these crimes”, and asked the Court of Appeal to rule again on indictment.”When serious crimes are committed, it is not only political and military leaders whose res responsibility must be elucidated but also the economic actors”, declared Claire Tixeire, lawyer of the European Center for Constitutional Rights and Human Rights, at the end of the hearing, to journalists, rejoicing in this “victory”. “This is the first time in the world that a company has been charged with such a crime. It is also the first time in the world that a parent company has been indicted for activities abroad through its subsidiary. From the point of view of the responsibility of multinationals, it is very important,” she added. With AFP and Reuters
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