"Rifaat al-Assad has been under investigation in France since 2014, when the legal NGO Sherpa, which defends victims of alleged economic crimes, filed a complaint saying the value of his property empire far exceeded his known income.
Five years later, the French judicial authorities decided that he should stand trial for crimes allegedly committed between 1984 and 2016, including organised money laundering, aggravated tax fraud and misappropriation of Syrian state funds.
The trial opened on 9 December last year. Assad denied the charges, saying he was given gifts by the Saudi royal family.
His reported French fortune includes two Paris townhouses, a stud farm, a chateau and 7,300 square metres of office space in Lyon. Several luxury properties have already been seized by French authorities.
Assad and his family also have a portfolio of 507 properties in Spain valued at around €695m (£585m).
The properties were seized by the Spanish authorities in 2017 as part of a separate investigation into alleged money-laundering activities by Assad and 13 other people, who have again denied any wrongdoing."