The Paris Court of Appeals yesterday upheld a four-year prison sentence against Rifaat Al-Assad, the uncle of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, for “misappropriating public funds and money laundering”.

Last year, the Paris Criminal Court sentenced Rifaat to four years in prison for crimes he committed between 1996-2016.

The court also confiscated his assets in France which are estimated to be worth €90 million ($106 million), including many luxury properties in Paris and Lyon.

The 84-year-old former vice president, who has lived in exile since 1984, did not attend the hearing.

His defence team immediately announced that it would appeal the decision.

Today Rifaat presents himself as an opponent of his nephew, who has ruled Syria since 2000.

According to Amnesty International, then Chief of General Staff Rifaat Al-Assad is responsible for the 1982 Hama massacre, where between 10,000 and 25,000 civilians lost their lives.

Two years after Hama, he tried to overthrow his brother Hafez Al-Assad and was exiled from Syria.

READ: Regime forces enter besieged areas in Syria’s Daraa 

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