A French court on Tuesday imposed rules on various appeals filed in the investigation into the activities of French cement manufacturer Lafarge in Syria until 2014, and in particular the repeal of a chargesheet that was “complicit in crimes against humanity.” The Cassation Court, the apex court of the French judiciary, was initially due to deliver its decision on a total of six appeals in mid-July. But she finally postponed them to September 7th.
On the one hand, the NGO Sherpa, the European Center for Constitution and Human Rights (ECCHR) and eleven former Lafarge employees in Syria have been competing since November 2019 for the cancellation by the Paris Court of Appeal’s instruction room. Blame this very serious criminal eligibility group. The unions oppose the rejection of their constitutions as civil parties, which prevents them from accessing the file, demanding investigative action from the trial judges and seeking compensation if convicted.
On the other hand, two former officials of the Cement Manufacturer and Group accused of “financing a terrorist organization”, “endangering the lives of others” and “violating the ban” against former Director of Corporate Defense Jean-Claude Weilard and one of the former directors of Syrian subsidiaries Frederick Jolipois Appealed against all cases.
The trial, which opened in June 2017, is suspected of Lafarge SA paying nearly 13 million euros in 2013 and 2014 through its subsidiary Lafarge Cement Syria (LCS) to terrorist groups and intermediaries, including ISIS. The operation of its base in Syria as the country sank into war.
The group is also suspected of selling cement from the factory to ISIS and paying intermediaries to obtain raw materials from jihadist factions.
The Advocate General recommended dismissing the appeal of NGOs and civil parties, saying the use of the amount paid to IS could be a material component of the problem, “undecided”. On the other hand, he felt that the company “could not ignore the terrorist nature of the money-making organizations” and proposed to reject Lafarge’s appeal against the charge of “financing a terrorist organization.”