A file photo taken on November 29, 1984 shows Rifaat al-Assad, the uncle of Syria's current President. AFP/PHILIPPE BOUCHON
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Syrian President Bashar Assad's uncle went on trial in Paris Monday on charges of pilfering Syrian state coffers and using the spoils to build a property empire in France.Rifaat Assad, dubbed the "Butcher of Hama" for allegedly commanding troops that put down an uprising in central Syria in 1982, has been under investigation in France since 2014 .This year, an investigating magistrate ordered he stand trial on charges of organized money laundering related to his 90-million-euro property portfolio in France.Assad, who splits his time between France and Britain, denies the charges.The first, Equatorial Guinea vice-President Teodorin Obiang, received a three-year suspended jail term in October 2017 after being convicted of using public money to fund a jet-set lifestyle in Paris.
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