Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s uncle, Rifaat al-Assad, has been sentenced to four years in prison by a Paris court and has had his real estate assets confiscated, the AFP news agency reported on Wednesday from the courtroom.
The court found him guilty of having laundered public funds from Syria between 1996 and 2016 by means of a criminal organisation, through which he had fraudulently built up a real estate empire.
According to the report, his fortune is estimated at around 90 million euros (101 million dollars).
The 82-year-old did not appear in court, AFP reported.
The financial prosecutor’s office had called for four years in prison and a fine of 10 million euros for him in December 2019.
Rifaat al-Assad has previously dismissed the allegations.
He had to leave Syria in 1984 after attempting a coup against his brother Hafez, Syria’s long-time ruler and the father of the current president.
Rifaat has long been a part of the leadership of the country, where he is held responsible for several atrocities as a commander of elite troops. He later rejected any responsibility for this.
The judiciary in Spain has also become active in the Rifaat al-Assad case.
At the end of 2019, a judge at the Spanish National Court proposed launching criminal proceedings against the 82-year-old and 13 others for alleged money laundering.(dpa/NAN)