Syrian president’s uncle faces Paris money laundering trial

Rifaat al-Assad, the uncle of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, is going to trial in Paris, where he stands accused of illegally using Syrian state funds to build a French real estate empire. (File/AP)
Updated 09 December 2019

Syrian president’s uncle faces Paris money laundering trial

  • Watchdog organizations filed a complaint in Paris in 2014 charging that the value of his French real estate holdings exceeds his income
  • The 82-year-old will not appear in court himself for medical reasons

PARIS: The uncle of Syrian President Bashar Assad is going on trial in Paris, accused of illegally using Syrian state funds to build a French real estate empire.
Rifaat Assad, a former Syrian vice president and brother to longtime leader Hafez Assad, has lived in Europe since his exile from Syria following a failed coup attempt in the 1980s.
Watchdog organizations filed a complaint in Paris in 2014 charging that the value of his French real estate holdings — some 90 million euros ($99.5 million) — far exceeds his known income.
French authorities have been probing his finances since then, and an investigating judge ordered him earlier this year to stand trial for money laundering.
Rifaat Assad denies the charges “completely,” Cedric Anthony-Btesh, a representative of the family, told The Associated Press on Monday.
The trial kicks off Monday afternoon. The 82-year-old will not appear in court himself for medical reasons, Anthony-Btesh said.


SABIC gets a brand boost

Updated 1 min 24 sec ago

SABIC gets a brand boost

  • SABIC has now entered the list of top 500 global brands

LONDON: Saudi petrochemical giant SABIC has received a boost to its brand value after a new survey saw it jump 9.3 percent to $4.33 billion in 2020, according to the independent brand valuation consultancy, Brand Finance.

“This reflects the growing positive perception of SABIC,” Brand Finance said in a statement.

SABIC has now entered the list of top 500 global brands.

“The strength of our global brand demonstrates our collaborative approach to business and our commitment to maintaining long-term relationships based on trust,” said SABIC CEO Yousef Al-Benyan.

Last year the petrochemicals company launched its first-ever global brand advertising campaign to raise the company’s awareness, understanding, and engagement with global influencers.

Brand Finance utilizes a bespoke methodology to determine a company’s brand value. Factors considered include stakeholder familiarity, satisfaction, and forecasted business performance.