French construction firm Vinci said on Monday it expected to be charged this week by a magistrate investigating allegedly abusive work practices on its building sites in Qatar. The group said its subsidiary Vinci Constructions Grands Projets had been summoned on Wednesday by a French magistrate investigating its infrastructure projects in Qatar “with a view to it being charged”. Under French law, being charged implies the magistrate believes there is compelling evidence against the company, but the decision can be appealed and does not automatically mean the case will go to trial. The Paris-based group said it regretted the development and denies the charges of using forced labour and taking part in human trafficking. Two French NGOs — Sherpa and the Committee Against Modern Slavery — and seven former employees from India and Nepal who worked on Vinci building sites have filed a series of legal complaints against the company dating back to 2015. They allege that employees working on sites linked to the football World Cup laboured for 66 to 77 hours a week, had their passports confiscated and were forced to live in indecent accommodation. In its statement on Monday, Vinci denied that the public transport sites in question were linked to the World Cup, saying they were awarded to the company before the football tournament was attributed to Qatar in 2010.