Assad's uncle washes his hands of some prime Parisian real estate

Published June 27th, 2013 - 08:55 GMT
Rifaat al-Assad (left) and Hafez al-Assad (right) (Source: Wikimedia, public commons)
Rifaat al-Assad (left) and Hafez al-Assad (right) (Source: Wikimedia, public commons)

Fearing his lavish mansion could be seized by police, an uncle of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad reportedly sold it for lower than the market price.

Rifaat al-Assad’s mansion had been on the market for €100 million and sold it for only €70 million, the Britain-based Telegraph reported on Tuesday.

The seven-story home is near one of Paris’s most desirable stretches of real estate, overlooking the Arc de Triomphe. The buyer of the house is believed to be a Russian billionaire, the newspaper reported.

“The 12,000ft property, which has its own underground swimming pool and sports hall, had been on sale for the past year at €100 million, but three weeks ago he cut the price by 30 per cent and accepted €70 million,” reported The Telegraph, adding that Rifaat is believed to have made a multi-million pound profit by selling the building at 38 Avenue Foch.

Rifaat al-Assad, Syria’s former vice president, also owns properties elsewhere in Paris and other cities abroad, including a £10 million Georgian mansion in London, according to The Telegraph.

“He is thought to be selling up in France, where he also owns a country estate with stables, another Parisian mansion and dozens of flats, due to concerns the French government is trying to clean-up its image,” the newspaper reported, in reference to recent court decisions to seize properties belonging to controversial figures.

Rifaat al-Assad has been living in exile since his failed attempt to seize power from his brother, Hafez, in 1983.

In February 1982, he led a military assault on Hama to quash the Muslim Brotherhood. The death toll from the violence was estimated between 10,000 and 25,000, earning him the nickname “The Butcher of Hama.”

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