Spain court seeks to try Assad’s uncle for money laundering

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MADRID (AP) — A Spanish judge is recommending that Syrian ex-Vice President Rifaat Assad, the exiled uncle of Bashar Assad, and 13 others be put on trial i on charges of criminal organization and money laundering.

Judge José de la Mata alleges that Rifaat Assad and the others, including eight sons, have laundered money taken out of Syria in several European countries since the 1980s.

The court alleges they laundered around 600 million euros ($664 million) in Spain through real estate purchases. The 14 weren’t immediately available for comment.

The judge in 2017 ordered the seizure of more than 500 properties belonging to Assad and his relatives.

Rifaat Assad, thought to live in France, fled Syria in 1984.

De la Mato has asked prosecutors to decide if Spain should proceed with the case.

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