France’s top court said Tuesday that cement giant Lafarge should be investigated on charges of complicity in crimes against humanity for allegedly financing the Daesh/ISIS terrorist group in northern Syria.
The civil parties in the Lafarge case -- the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) and Sherpa -- described the Court of Cassation’s decision as "historic.”
The ECCHR and Sherpa, an anti-corruption non-governmental organization, held a webinar right after the decision which was attended by Cannelle Lavite, a lawyer at the ECCHR, Franceline Lepany, the president of Sherpa, and lawyer Maitre Bauer.
Cavite welcomed the Court of Cassation’s decision to overturn an appeals court ruling dismissing charges that Lafarge was complicit in crimes against humanity.
Claiming that Lafarge's headquarters in France was not only aware of its regional office's payments to Daesh/ISIS in Syria but also gave instructions in this direction, Lavite said "this is a historic decision over the responsibilities of multinational companies working abroad through their subsidiaries.”
She said this lawsuit overturns the systematic argument of multinational companies saying that they have no knowledge of how their subsidiaries work.
Noting that the French government and the General Directorate of Foreign Security have an important role and responsibility in this case, Lavite said the documents Anadolu Agency revealed today will be included in the investigation if it continues.
Lepany said she was satisfied with the decision of the French court.
However, she said it was too early to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
Documents obtained by Anadolu Agency showed that Lafarge told French intelligence agencies about its ties with the Daesh/ISIS terror group.
The documents exposed how Lafarge had a relationship with Daesh/ISIS that French intelligence was fully aware of.
The documents showed that French intelligence agencies used Lafarge’s network of relations, its cooperation with terror groups in Syria and meetings to get news from the region and maintain its operations there. They also revealed that French intelligence did not warn the company that they were committing a crime.