World

Syria court sentences Assad cousin to 20 years for murder

Latest Update: January 22, 2016 | 107 Views
Assad Cousin

BEIRUT: A cousin of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for the murder of a military officer last summer, a security source said Friday.

“A court in Latakia on Thursday sentenced Suleiman al-Assad to 20 years in prison for the murder of Colonel Hassan al-Sheikh,” the source said.

The murder took place in August on the road between Latakia city and Qardaha, the ancestral village of the Assad family.

Latakia province is a regime stronghold and heartland of the Alawite minority to which the president, Sheikh and Suleiman al-Assad all belong. The incident raised tensions within the community.

Sheikh’s relatives said at the time that the president had pledged “to punish the perpetrator, whoever he is.”

Suleiman al-Assad’s father, Hilal al-Assad, a first cousin of the president, headed the defence forces in Latakia city before his death in March 2014 during clashes with rebels in nearby Kasab.

AFP