The Court of Cassation – the highest court of the French judicial order – on Tuesday invalidated the cancellation of the indictment of Lafarge for “complicity in crimes against humanity” in Syria and “financing of terrorism”, indicated this Tuesday Le Parisien.
The Court of Cassation was seized of six appeals after the annulment, by the Paris Court of Appeal on November 7, 2019, of the indictment for “complicity in crimes against humanity” of the cement manufacturer, suspected of having paid in 2013 and 2014 nearly 13 million euros went to jihadist groups, including the Islamic State (IS) organization.
At the same time, the court of appeal had validated the prosecutions for “financing of terrorism” in the investigation of its activities in Syria until 2014. It also maintained the indictments for “violation of an embargo” and “endangering the lives” of former workers at its Jalabiya factory in northern Syria.
The investigative chamber will have to rule again
“In this case, the knowing payment of several million dollars to an organization whose object is exclusively criminal is sufficient to characterize the complicity, regardless of whether the person concerned is acting with a view to the pursuit of a commercial activity” , explained the Court of Cassation in a press release on Tuesday.
The highest court also quashed the appeal court’s decision to uphold the group’s indictment for “endangering the lives of others”. It referred these two questions to the investigating chamber, so that it can rule again on them, the role of the Court of Cassation being to examine the relevance of the criminal qualifications and not the facts. It also confirmed the indictment of the cement manufacturer for “financing of terrorism”.
If the company admitted having been able to finance armed groups “indirectly”, it has always disputed any responsibility for the destination of these payments to terrorist organizations.