EU Court Dismisses Syria Sanctions Challenge By Assad’s Uncle

By Laurence Norman – Wall Street Journal – 2015-01-22 – The European Union’s second-highest court dismissed a challenge by the uncle of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad against the bloc’s sanctions, saying it’s clear that Mohammad Makhlouf has influence in the Syrian regime. In its ruling, the court said the EU showed Mr. Makhlouf was a leading adviser to the Assad government and has had “decisive influence…over all the primary circle of rulers of the Syrian regime and, in particular, over” Mr. Assad’s sons. The court said the evidence provided shows Mr. Makhlouf “maintains links with the rulers of the regime or gives it economic support.”