Paris: A French judge earlier this month put an uncle of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad under formal investigation for tax fraud and money-laundering, a source close to the case said on Tuesday.
Suspected of having acquired his wealth in France illegally, Rifaat al-Assad, an opponent of his nephew`s regime, was put under investigation on June 9 after an interrogation with a French financial judge, the source said. He was also banned from leaving France apart from trips to London for health reasons.
Two anti-corruption associations filed complaints against him in 2013, and the following year, French authorities began looking into whether there was evidence of corruption, bribery, and money laundering.
His lawyer declined to comment. At the time, the complaint was filed, people close to him said his wealth did not come from Syria.