© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A sign with the logo of French oil and gas company TotalEnergies is pictured at a petrol station in Bouguenais near Nantes, France, November 14, 2022. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe
PARIS (Reuters) – A French court has dismissed charges of complicity in war crimes against oil major TotalEnergies, lawyers for the NGOs who brought the charge said in a statement.
In October, the Darwin Climax Coalition and Ukrainian organisation Razom We Stand filed a complaint with the anti-terrorism unit of the Paris public prosecutor’s office over what it said were acts of complicity in war crimes likely to have been committed by TotalEnergies in Ukraine.
Lawyers for the groups said they had been informed that the public prosecutor had dismissed the complaint. They added that the NGOs would appeal the verdict.
The NGOs said that the company had not only maintained its economic activity on the territory of a state openly at war, but also made profits from the sale of gas condensate, the transformation of which into kerosene was able to refuel the Russian air force.
The NGO lawyers said that in explaining its reasons for dismissing the complaint, the court stated that “the facts of complicity in the war crime denounced against the company TOTAL ENERGIES would appear insufficiently characterized, on the material level as on the intentional.”
TotalEnergies did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the ruling. It had denied the accusations in October in a statement to French daily Le Monde.