US News: Rich aunt of Syria's ruthless dictator Bashar al-Assad was secretly allowed to live in UK after vowing to spend millions in the country - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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US NewsRich aunt of Syria's ruthless dictator Bashar al-Assad was secretly allowed to live in UK after vowing to spend millions in the country

07:30  02 january  2019
07:30  02 january  2019 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Bashar Hafez al - Assad (Arabic: بشار حافظ الأسد‎ Baššār Ḥāfiẓ al-ʾAsad, Levantine pronunciation: [baʃˈʃaːr ˈħaːfezˤ elˈʔasad]; English pronunciation ; born 11 September 1965)

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Rich aunt of Syria's ruthless dictator Bashar al-Assad was secretly allowed to live in UK after vowing to spend millions in the country © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad's wealthy 63-year-old aunt has moved to the UK after pledging to spend millions while living in the country The rich aunt of Syria's ruthless dictator was secretly given permission to live in the UK after promising to spend millions while in the country.

Her two adult sons, cousins of Bashar al-Assad, were also granted the right to live in the UK around the same time, The Daily Telegraph reported.

The woman, 63, and her two sons are the fourth wife and children of Rifaat al-Assad. He is also known as the 'Butcher of Hama' after heading an elite force that massacred up to 40,000 Syrians in 1982.

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Family members of Syria ' s President Bashar al - Assad are refused UK citizenship. Immigration commission says giving passports would ruin regime Judges admitted they did not know exactly how close the aunt and cousins were to President Assad, where his country Syria and capital Damascus

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Rifaat, 80, is the uncle of Bashar al-Assad. He fled Syria for Europe two years later after mounting a failed coup against his brother Hafez al-Assad, Bashar's father.

After fleeing, he bought hundreds of properties in France, Spain and the UK.. But his assets were seized after a four-year probe into his vast array of properties and he now faces corruption charges in France, according to reports.

Two years ago, Rifaat was investigated for corruption and money-laundering, with French authorities suspecting his vast real estate empire was built with illicitly secured cash. He alone accounts for 80per cent of assets seized by French customs authorities in 2017.

Rich aunt of Syria's ruthless dictator Bashar al-Assad was secretly allowed to live in UK after vowing to spend millions in the country © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited She is the fourth wife of the dictator's uncle Rifaat al-Assad and her two sons have also been allowed to live in the UK. He is also known as the 'Butcher of Hama' after heading an elite force that slaughtered up to 40,000 Syrians in 1982.

He owns a £10million Georgian mansion near Park Lane, central London, and well as houses in France and Spain.

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The Home Office decision to grant his fourth wife indefinite leave to remain in the UK was made in 2012, the height of the Syrian civil war.

Her two sons, now aged 22 and 37, were joined in the country by another son of Rifaat - from a different mother - in 2014. Rifaat has four wives and is believed to still be married to all of them.

The case is revealed in a 37-page court ruling by the Home Office's Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC). The commission's rules state the woman and her children cannot be named.

Rich aunt of Syria's ruthless dictator Bashar al-Assad was secretly allowed to live in UK after vowing to spend millions in the country © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad is pictured shaking hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) who has helped to keep him in power

The family had lodged an appeal after being denied British citizenship. However the court rejected their claim, citing it 'would have an adverse impact on the UK's international relations'.

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Subscribe. Just for. 10 issues. Print + Digital. In the late 1980 s Patrick Seale wrote an excellent account of the al - Assad family—well before it was clear that Bashar , its bookish, quiet, second-oldest son, would one day lead the Syrian government in massacring its own people.

The judgment states the woman, nicknamed 'LA' in the document, first came to the UK in 2006 and was given 'entry clearance as an investor'.

She claimed to be 'investing in bonds, hedge funds etc' and one of her sons was educated at a leading London public school.

Syria's conflict had escalated to a full-blown civil war by 2012, with President Assad bombing the city of Aleppo - earning him censure from the United Nations.

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The Home Office told the wife when turning down her citizenship application the UK has a vital role at the UN in 'securing resolutions that condemn regime activity against civilians'.

The SIAC ruling states: 'You are the wife of Rifaat al-Assad the uncle of President Bashar Al-Assad of Syria.

'Although widely reported as estranged from Bashar Al-Assad, Rifaat is the brother of Hafez Al-Assad (the late former president of Syria). Rifaat was a well-known and prominent member of his brother's regime during the 1970s and 1980s - a regime that is widely held to have committed crimes against humanity.

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Bashar al - Assad succeeded his father upon Hafez al - Assad ’ s death in 2000, and continues his father’ s legacy of Ba’athism. Liberal north European models of democracy and governance have no relevance in a country still in the process of establishing its national identity, something it has only

Bashar al - Assad has confounded many by holding on to power for seven years in the face of a rebellion. Image caption Bashar al - Assad says he is fighting foreign-backed terrorists in Syria . It was not long before the authorities released hundreds of political prisoners and allowed the first

'Although it is not possible to assess the exact nature of your current relationship with Bashar Al-Assad and the Syrian regime, it is noted that the regime has become inextricably linked over the last few decades with the extended Assad family.'

'In light of the above the Home Secretary has determined that to grant you a certificate of naturalisation would have an adverse impact on the UK's international relations and therefore it would not be in the public interest to grant you British Citizenship.'

Rifaat was the head of Syria's Defense Companies paramilitary force in the 1970s and 80s. He oversaw the quashing of a Sunni insurrection in the city of Hama that earned him his 'Butcher' nickname, killing between 10,000 and 40,000 people.

He was officially Syria's vice president until 1998, 14 years after he escaped the country after failing to overthrow his brother.

He was considered even more brutal than his brother, ruthless keeping his Hafez on the throne from 1971.

The organisation Human Rights Watch reported Rifaat was responsible for murdering more than 1,000 prisoners in Tadmur prison in 1980.

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