Earlier this year, and for the first time, the Presidential Palace permitted the restoration of Rifaat al-Assad’s farms and villas in Damascus and its surroundings, as well as on the Syrian coast. Apparently, Rifaat’s return to Damascus will be announced within a few weeks.
These developments indicate that the regime and Rifaat al-Assad have mutual benefits. The regime achieves economic gains from Rifaat’s wealth and social gains within pro-regime factions. For his part, Rifaat escapes from the European courts that are pursuing him on various charges, chiefly the embezzlement of Syrian funds.
Syrian lawyer Zeid al-Azm, who lives in France and is following Rifaat al-Assad’s trial, told Syria TV that the next court hearing will occur on September 9th.
Rifaat al-Assad left Syria in 1984 with a large sum of money. His departure followed major disputes with his brother, Hafez al-Assad. The latter accused Rifaat of attempting a coup against him after a health crisis afflicted Hafez.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.