German prosecutors won’t probe Brenntag over chemicals sale to Syria

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(Reuters) – German prosecutors said on Tuesday they had found no grounds to investigate Brenntag, the world’s largest chemicals distributor, over the sale to a company in Syria of substances that can be used in chemical weapons. 

Sueddeutsche Zeitung, working with other media outlets, had in June reported that Brenntag sold ingredients with potential dual use in painkillers and nerve gas to a Syrian drugmaker, hitting its shares on concern over political repercussions in the United States. 

But the prosecutors office in the western city of Duisburg said there were no sufficient signs of wrongdoing that would justify an investigation into Brenntag. 

Duisburg prosecutors had taken over the case from counterparts in Essen, who in June received the initial complaint about Brenntag from three non-governmental organisations: New York’s Open Society Justice Initiative, Berlin’s Syrian Archive and Switzerland’s Trial International.

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