France opens probe into Assad uncle's French assets
PARIS (AFP) - Paris prosecutors have opened a preliminary investigation into the assets in France of Rifaat al-Assad, the uncle of the Syrian president, a judicial source said on Monday.
The probe follows a criminal complaint filed on September 13 by anti-corruption groups Sherpa and Transparency International, alleging the 66-year-old had illegally acquired "extraordinary wealth".
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.