Eighty-year old uncle of President Bashar al-Assad’s staying in the house for £ 9 million feet in Mayfair in London and once offered himself as an alternative leader to the war-torn country, is under investigation in Switzerland on the subject of war crimes, according to Hannah Lucinda Smith in the British newspaper The Times.
«Rifat al-Assad, the 80-year-old brother of the President’s father, Hafez, was commander of the «defence brigades» in Syria, elite forces paratroopers, which I suspect in the massacre of thousands of people», – transfers the edition.
In 1984, Rifat had to flee from Syria to Europe because of family quarrels in the question of inheritance of power, the article says. He created a new image as an opponent of the Syrian regime, leading luxury lifestyle and building a real estate Empire on the continent by some estimates 220 million pounds, which he allegedly stole from the Syrian state Treasury.
«Rifat, who denies all charges against him, is in France, where he was forbidden to leave the country, except for medical visits to Britain, said the author. The Trial lawyers of the International legal organization in Geneva, gathered against him the evidence of war crimes in 2013 and presented the case to the attorney General of Switzerland. However, as seems the case has stalled, and Philip Grant, Director of the organization, said that the delay «sends a dangerous message to present to the warring parties in Syria. It must be absolutely clear that they are not beyond justice.»