French prosecutors have opened an inquiry into banking giant BNP Paribas over claims of complicity in crimes against humanity, genocide and torture in Sudan. The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), which had filed a complaint against the French bank, announced on Twitter that an investigation had been opened. A year ago almost to the day, nine Sudanese victims backed by rights groups including the FIDH filed a criminal complaint against BNP Paribas for allegedly facilitating crimes committed in Sudan between 2002 and 2008, particularly in the war-torn western region of Darfur. In 2014, BNP Paribas pleaded guilty in the United States to conspiring to violate American sanctions against the governments of Sudan, Iran and Cuba, and agreed to a fine of $8.9 billion. It was found guilty of going “to elaborate lengths to conceal prohibited transactions, cover its tracks, and deceive US authorities,” according to the US Department of Justice. Illegal payments “were made on behalf of sanctioned entities in Sudan, which was subject to US embargo based on the Sudanese government’s role in facilitating terrorism and committing human rights abuses,” it said. The FIDH said Sudanese victims did not receive any compensation from that settlement.
SOURCE: FRANCE 24