French top court upholds prison sentence of Bashar al-Assad's uncle

France's highest court on Wednesday sealed a ruling that found Rifaat al-Assad, an uncle of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, was guilty of acquiring millions of euros' worth of French property using funds diverted from the Syrian state.

The verdict by the Cour de Cassation, which comes at the end of a long process in which al-Assad has raised various appeals, confirmed a four-year prison sentence handed on Rifaat al-Assad, who had returned to Syria last year after losing access to his French wealth.

"The assets held by Rifaat al-Assad in France seized during the proceedings will be definitively confiscated", said Sherpa, a France-based group of human rights lawyers whose criminal complaint in 2013 triggered the proceedings.

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