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

DUESSELDORF, Germany (Reuters) – German prosecutors said on Tuesday they had found no grounds to investigate the world’s largest chemicals distributor Brenntag over the 2014 sale to a company in Syria of substances that can be used in chemical weapons.

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

Brenntag said at the time that a Swiss subsidiary supplied chemicals diethylamine and isopropanol in 2014, in line with relevant laws and regulations, to Syrian drugmaker Mediterranean Pharmaceutical Industries (MPI) to produce a pain killer.

Reporting by Anneli Palmen in Duesseldorf; Writing by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Susan Fenton