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Switzerland keeps Syria leader’s family assets frozen

Image of Rami Makhlouf, a wealthy businessman and the cousin of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad
Rami Makhlouf, a wealthy businessman and the cousin of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad [Twitter]

Swiss Federal Court has rejected an appeal on an earlier decision by a lower court to freeze the assets of Rami Makhlouf, the cousin of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, a Swiss news website has reported.

In June 2015, the Federal Administrative Court decided to freeze Makhlouf’s assets. Makhlouf appealed against the ruling.

Switzerland’s highest court confirmed the earlier decision by the Federal Administrative Court in June 2015 rejecting Makhlouf’s appeal.

According to Swissinfo.ca, the Federal Court said that since it had been established with the “highest probability that Makhlouf is close to the Syrian government and that there is a risk of financial support to the Syrian government, it is necessary to prevent sanctions imposed by Switzerland’s trading partners being circumvented on Swiss territory.”

Read: Assad’s uncle facing trial for war crimes in Switzerland

The Federal Administrative Court said in 2015: “The defendant has a personal and direct interest in maintaining the current regime if he wants to keep his status and his way of life.”

Swissinfo.ca reported that this is not the first time that Makhlouf and his family have faced problems in Switzerland.

In 2013, the court refused an entry visa application from his brother Hafez Makhlouf, head of the Syrian secret service.

The news website also confirmed the freeze of assets in Switzerland belonging to Hafez Makhlouf and his father Mohamed Makhlouf.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests. Since then, more than 250,000 people have been killed and in excess of ten million displaced, according to the UN.

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Europe & RussiaMiddle EastNewsSwitzerlandSyria
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