Asma al-Assad, the British-born wife of Syria’s president Bashar, could be liable for a two-year prison sentence because her online shopping sprees may have broken financial sanctions imposed on her husband, according to a senior lawyer.
Mrs Assad’s apparent liking for luxury goods from Harrods, along with the products of boutique furniture-makers and Parisian jewellers, has been disclosed by emails purporting to be from her account.

But her husband, President Bashar al-Assad, appears as number one on a list of 114 Syrians subjected to European Union financial sanctions. These measures, imposed on Syrian officials held responsible for “brutal repression”, freeze any assets owned by targeted individuals in EU member states.

Crucially, they also prohibit EU citizens from making “funds or economic resources” available to anyone named on the list.

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