The Lafarge scandal is a clear example of the double standard France applies as a state in the fight against terrorism. In July, a French newspaper “Liberation” revealed in its columns the existence of a note from the General Directorate of External Security (DGSE), attesting that the Franch government was aware of the payments made by the cement manufacturer Lafarge to the terrorist group Daesh or Front Al-Nosra, which is affiliated with Al-Qaida, in Syria. As seen in the documents revealed, Lafarge continued his activities with the knowledge and approval of the French intelligence throughout the process.
Since 2014, the French State has been informed of these transactions, estimated at 13 million euros, through its intelligence services. These financial arrangements between Lafarge and Daesh led to a first indictment of the French group in 2018. Many people are wondering about the responsibility of the State.
The cement company continued to operate one of its sites even though terrorist groups controlled the territory. It was called a compulsory fee.
The case points to the indirect involvement of the executive, then headed by François Hollande, President of the Republic and Manuel Valls, Prime Minister.
The government of François Hollande let the payment to Daesh to save the cement manufacturer Lafarge. At the time, Emmanuel Macron was promoted from Deputy Secretary-General of the ‘Élysée to Minister of the Economy.
From a judicial point of view, the Court of Cassation was supposed to render its decision on the indictment of Lafarge, postponed its judgment to September 7.
If Lafarge has already been indicted since 2018 for facts of “financing of terrorism”, “violation of an embargo” and “endangering the life” of its employees in Syria. In that case, the highest judicial court must rule on the charge of “complicity in a crime against humanity” invalidated by the Court of Appeal in 2019.
The CEO Bruno Lafont, the former director of the Sûreté Jean-Claude Veillard and one of the former directors of the Syrian subsidiary, Frédéric Jolibois, are also being prosecuted in this case.
On May 4, the shareholders of LafargeHolcim, a group born from the merger in 2015 of the French Lafarge and the Swiss Holcim, voted at a general meeting to change the name of the multinational’s corporate name. Removing the surname Lafarge, the construction materials giant is now called Holcim.