The criminal court of Antwerp on Thursday ordered three Belgian companies to pay a sum of €750,000 euros in damages over export of chemicals to the Assad regime, which it used in attacks claiming the lives of thousands of innocent civilians. Prosecutors said the chemicals could potentially be used in producing the nerve gas Sarin.
Belgian news outlet 7sur7 said that a lawsuit was brought against the three firms for exporting 24 shipments of chemicals between May 2014 and December 2016 in which 168 tons of Isopropanol were also exported to Syria and Lebanon.
In addition to the fine, Belgian prosecutors had asked the court to sentence heads of two companies to 18 months in prison.
In its latest report, the UN Commission of Inquiry said that the Assad regime was responsible for dozens of chemical attacks, including the deadly attacks in Douma and Khan Sheikhoun.
The three companies face other charges of failing to apply for necessary permits which allow for the regulated export of Isopropanol.
The verdict in the case is expected to be made during a court hearing on late January.
The Syrian Coalition earlier stressed the need to hold the Assad regime accountable for using chemical weapons against civilians and to punish all the companies that helped in the production of chemical weapons.
The EU began imposing economic sanctions on the Assad regime in 2011 and extended them until 2018. The sanctions targeted 244 individuals and 67 companies, commercial, banking and economic entities. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)