News
French firm Lafarge loses bid to dismiss ‘crimes against humanity’ case in Syria
08 Sep 2021

The ruling by the Court of Cassation marks a major setback for Lafarge, which is accused of paying nearly 13 million euros ($15.3 million) to jihadist groups including the Islamic State (IS) to keep its cement factory in northern Syria running through the early years of the country’s war.

Lafarge’s lawyer refused AFP’s request for comment.

Lafarge, which merged in 2015 with Swiss group Holcim, has acknowledged that its Syrian subsidiary paid middlemen to negotiate with armed groups to allow the movement of staff and goods inside the war zone.

But it denies any responsibility for the money winding up in the hands of terrorist groups and has fought to have the case dropped.

The Paris Court of Appeal had in 2019 dismissed the crimes against humanity charge, saying it accepted that the payments were not aimed at abetting IS’s gruesome agenda of executions and torture.

By Claire Rush, AFP, 7 September 2021

Read more at AFP via France 24

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