Court upholds Syrian charges against Lafarge

By Andy Brown19 May 2022

A French court has upheld charges of complicity in crimes against humanity against materials producer Lafarge related to previous activities in Syria.

The case is about a Syrian plant that the group kept open for more than three years after the outbreak of the civil war in the Asian country in 2011.

The Paris appeals court also upheld charges of endangerment of the lives of others after the company allegedly transferred €13 million (US$13.7 million) through its Syrian subsidiary to several armed groups, including Isis.

“We strongly disagree with the Court of Appeal’s decision to retain complicity in crimes against humanity within the scope of the investigation of Lafarge SA,” said the Holcim Group in a statement, adding that the company will appeal against the decision in the French supreme court.

The payments in question preceded Lafarge’s multi-billion dollar merger with Switzerland’s Holcim, which in 2015 became the world’s largest cement company. Lafarge is a French industrial company specialising in three major products: cement, construction aggregates, and concrete. It is part of the Holcim Group. 

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