01:36 GMT +312 November 2019
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    Former Syrian vice president Rifaat Assad (Fille)

    Spain Starts Proceedings Against Assad’s Uncle Over Money Laundering

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    Judge of the National High Court of Spain ordered to begin judicial check-ups within the investigation into former Vice President of Syria Rifaat Assad, uncle of current President of Syria Bashar Assad, on charges of money laundering, according to official statement.

    MOSCO (Sputnik) — The Spanish National High Court said on Tuesday it had started proceedings regarding money laundering involving Rifaat Assad, a former Syrian vice president and current Syrian President Bashar Assad’s uncle.

    "Judge of the National High Court of Spain Jose de la Mata ordered to begin judicial check-ups within the investigation into former Vice President of Syria Rifaat Assad, uncle of current President of Syria Bashar Assad, on charges of money laundering by criminal organizations in the municipalities of Marbella and Puerto Banus in Malaga," the court's statement said.

    According to the statement, the judge requested to conduct 15 searches and questionings and freeze the bank accounts of 16 people and 76 entities having links to Rifaat Assad. No detentions are expected yet, the statement added.

    Assad is estimated to own property in Spain worth some 691 million euros ($735 million), which was all placed under arrest for the time of investigation, the court stated.

    Earlier in April, French judiciaries decided to confiscate the property of Rifaat Assad in Paris, estimated to be worth some 90 million euros. In June 2016, French prosecutors charged Assad with corruption, placing arrest on his property in September, including a stud farm, several villas and offices.


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