PARIS – The Paris appeals court upheld a lower court ruling that found an uncle of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad guilty of acquiring millions of euros’ worth of French property using funds diverted from the Syrian state, the AFP news agency reported on Thursday.
The court also confirmed a four-year jail sentence on Rifaat al-Assad, although the 84-year-old former military commander is unlikely to serve time because of his age.
The ruling clears the way for all of Rifaat al-Assad’s property in France, estimated to be worth about 90 million euros ($105 million), to be seized, as ordered by the lower court in June last year.
Rifaat al-Assad is widely held responsible for the suppression of an Islamist uprising in 1982 against then-president Hafez al-Assad, Bashar’s father. Many thousands were killed. ($1 = 0.8465 euros)