This May 27, 2005 photo shows Rifaat Assad in Marbella, Spain. (AP/Paul White)
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The uncle of Syrian President Bashar Assad is under investigation in France for amassing a 90-million-euro fortune, including a stud farm and luxury apartments, despite being kicked out of Syria "with nothing" 30 years ago.French investigators have provided details to AFP of their year-long probe into the finances of Rifaat Assad, the younger brother of late dictator Hafez Assad. The inventory includes a stud farm near Paris, as well as two mansions, two apartment blocks and a plot of land in the French capital.The investigation into Rifaat's finances was triggered by Sherpa, an activist group representing the victims of financial crime, which claims the fortune was stolen during his time at the heart of the Syrian regime.However, Syria expert Fabrice Balanche, of CNRS University in Lyons, told the probe he is highly skeptical about the explanations.
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