France's news in English

Editions:  Austria · Denmark · France · Germany · Italy · Norway · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland

France probes Assad uncle's 'billions of euros'

Share this article

France probes Assad uncle's 'billions of euros'
France has launched a corruption probe into the "extraordinary wealth", estimated in the billions, of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad's uncle Rifaat, pictured in 2000. Photo: ANN/AFP
17:45 CEST+02:00
Prosecutors in Paris have opened a probe into whether Rifaat al-Assad, uncle of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, used illegal means to acquire his "extraordinary wealth," estimated to be in the billions of euros, it emerged on Monday.

The preliminary investigation follows a criminal complaint filed on September 13 by anti-corruption groups Sherpa and Transparency International alleging the 76-year-old had illegally acquired "extraordinary wealth" in France.

Once a stalwart of the Syrian regime, Rifaat al-Assad broke with the government of his brother, then-president Hafez al-Assad, in 1984 and settled in Europe.

Hafez al-Assad was the father of current Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose regime is fighting in a civil conflict that has left more than 110,000 dead since it began in March 2011.

Before splitting from the regime, Rifaat al-Assad was accused of being responsible for the deaths of thousands during the crushing of an Islamist uprising in 1982.

The criminal complaint accuses Rifaat al-Assad of acquiring wealth "in the billions of euros" through corruption, embezzlement of public funds, misuse of corporate assets and other crimes.

French media have reported that his holdings include a mansion and several dozen apartments in Paris, with newspaper Le Monde estimating the total value of his estate in France at €160 million ($215 million).

Don't miss stories like this - join us on Facebook and Twitter

 
Get notified about breaking news on The Local

Share this article

The Local is not responsible for content posted by users.
Become a Member or sign-in to leave a comment.

From our sponsors

This cloud-based agency takes remote working to the next level

Be honest, who hasn't dreamed of working remotely with all the perks of employment? If you've got the skills, you only need to look UP to make that dream a reality.