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).