Europe 1 with AFP 5:32 p.m., May 18, 2022

The Paris Court of Appeal confirmed on Wednesday the indictment of Lafarge for "complicity in crimes against humanity".

The French cement manufacturer is accused of having continued its activities in Syria despite the war.

The group would have even paid several million euros, via a subsidiary, to several terrorist groups including the Islamic State.

New legal setback for Lafarge: the Paris Court of Appeal confirmed on Wednesday the indictment of the cement group for "complicity in crimes against humanity" concerning its activities until 2014 in Syria, to the satisfaction of the civil parties .

The latter accuse the tricolor giant of having paid in 2013 and 2014, via its Syrian subsidiary Lafarge Cement Syria (LCS), several million euros to terrorist groups, including the Islamic State organization (IS), in order to ensure the continuation of its activities.

The investigation estimated that these payments could have reached between 4.8 and 10 million euros for the EI group alone.

After an appeal in cassation, the Paris Court of Appeal finally decided to uphold the charges against the cement manufacturer, which also included "endangering the lives of others".

The largest court of appeal in France therefore followed the requisitions of the general prosecutor's office on this point.

In 2019, the Parisian investigating chamber granted the group's first request, considering that the group's only intention was "the continuation of the activity of the cement plant".

"It's one more step against impunity" 

A representative of the association ECCHR (European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights), whose civil party status in this case was confirmed by the Court of Appeal on Wednesday, greeted the press with "an emblematic decision".

"This is one more step against the impunity of the perpetrators of the worst crimes of economic actors: today, it is no longer possible to hide behind the little finger of organized ignorance", applauded Me Joseph Breham, lawyer for a hundred former Syrian employees. 

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Me Arié Alimi, lawyer for the League of Human Rights (LDH) also reacted.

"We must now shed light on the responsibilities and the degree of knowledge of this complicity in crimes against humanity by public actors "In this case, eight executives and managers, including the former CEO of Lafarge Bruno Lafont, but also a Syrian-Canadian intermediary or a former Jordanian risk manager are under investigation.

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