PARIS, Dec 8 (Reuters) - The Paris prosecutor put former
French cement group Lafarge's CEO Bruno Lafont and his former
deputy for operations under formal investigation on Friday as
part of an inquiry into the group's activities in Syria, the
men's lawyers said.
Being placed under investigation means that prosecutors
believe they have "serious or consistent evidence" that could
result in prosecution. It is a step towards a possible trial,
though the investigation can still be dropped.
The men's lawyers made no further comment.
On Thursday, prosecutors also placed under formal
investigation Lafont's successor Eric Olsen, former chief
executive of Franco-Swiss cement group LafargeHolcim,
the world's largest cement maker, which resulted from the 2015
takeover of Lafarge by Swiss Holcim.
Olsen quit as CEO in April after the company admitted it had
paid armed groups to keep a factory operating in Syria. His
lawyer has said Olsen will appeal against being put under
In June, French prosecutors launched an investigation into
LafargeHolcim's operations and its possible "financing of a
LafargeHolcim Chairman Beat Hass told French daily Le Figaro
earlier this month the firm had made unacceptable errors in
Syria and that it was cooperating with French investigators.
Two other former Lafarge executives and one LafargeHolcim
executive still working for the group were also placed under
formal investigation last week in the same case.
LafargeHolcim employs some 90,000 people in around 80
(Reporting by Emmanuel Jarry; Writing by Geert De Clercq;
Editing by Alison Williams)
First Published: 2017-12-08 00:42:33
Updated 2017-12-08 23:51:27
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