Lafarge in Syria: the ex-CEO, Bruno Lafont at its tower set review

The direction of French Lafarge could she ignore the covenant entered into by its subsidiary, syrian with the islamic State (AR)? The ex-CEO, Bruno Lafont and another officer were indicted Friday for “financing a terrorist enterprise,” as ex-ceo Eric Olsen on Thursday, a first for big bosses French.

Mr. Lafont, CEO of the cement company Lafarge for 2007 to 2015, and Christian Herrault, former deputy director general, including Syria, have also been indicted for “endangering the lives of others”, a-t-on learned from justice source.

They were placed under judicial control and must pay a deposit, added the source, without specifying the amount.

The two leaders had been placed in police custody on Wednesday in the premises of the national Service of customs judiciaire (SNDJ), with Eric Olsen.

This last, HR director and then deputy director general of the group at the time of the facts, before becoming general manager after the merger of cement companies in French with the Swiss Holcim in 2015, has been indicted Thursday for the same charges and also subject to judicial control. He will have to pay a deposit of 200,000 euros, has indicated to the AFP a source close to the folder.

The case is non-standard: the subsidiary syrian (Lafarge Cement Syria, LCS) of the company is blamed for siding with the ITE between November 2013 and September 2014 in order to maintain its plant in Jalabiya (north of the country) in a conflict zone held particularly by organizing jihadist.

She made him submit, via an intermediary, more than $ 500,000, and has purchased raw materials, including oil, in violation of an embargo of the european Union, according to a report prepared at the request of LafargeHolcim by the american law firm Baker McKenzie.

Lafont “regularly informed”?

Investigators are trying to determine if the direction to Paris was aware of such conduct.

The contradictions between the three responsible are many.

Christian Herrault, who recognized early 2017 that the group had been the victim of an “economy of racket”, has once again insured in police custody, and then before the judges on Friday, “have regularly informed Bruno Lafont of the situation,” said a source close to the case to the AFP.

According to the report, Baker McKenzie, the ex-deputy director operational has also claimed to have sent an email to Mr. Lafont in July 2014 to inform them that the factory was shut down, the time to reach an agreement, “clear” with the AR.

But the ex-CEO, heard in the January hearing free by the SNDJ, has denied having had knowledge of such facts. “For me, things were under control,” he said.

“My client takes his / her responsibilities. One question posed to him: was it right to abandon the factory at the hand of the enemy or to submit to the racket to be able to resist,” responded the lawyer of Mr. Herrault, Solange Doumic.

Also requested, the board of Bruno Lafont was not available in the immediate future.

He is also accused Lafarge of not having ensured the safety of its employees, the syrians, remaining alone on the premises while the management of the factory had left Syria and that the expatriates had been evacuated.

In addition to the three managers, three executives of Lafarge, including two ex-directors of the plant, have been indicted in this investigation conducted at no charge by the co-investigating judges. Placed under judicial control, “they reject the responsibility for the continuation of the business of the cement plant on the home-mother”, according to a source close to the folder.

As for Eric Olsen, he said to the judges, “have not ceased to alert operational managers, including Mr. Herrault, on the situation in the factory, noting that it had not the power to close it,” according to this source. He denied having had knowledge of any payment in dispute.

“My client will appeal against the review and only wish one thing: that all light be shed on this matter as soon as possible”, told AFP his lawyer, Pierre Cornut-Gentille.

Of non-governmental organizations, including Sherpa, party civil in this record, also requested that the investigations may shed light on what did the French authorities of the time on the activities of Lafarge in Syria.

(With AFP)

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