The head of the Damascus Bar Association branch, Muhammad Osama Burhan, affiliated with the Assad militia, acknowledged the existence of cases of forgery of real estate agencies, by a number of lawyers, claiming that they have been referred to the judiciary, and then they will be prosecuted by way of removal from the union if convicted.
Speaking to the pro-Assad newspaper, Al-Watan, Burhan claimed that the number of lawyers who were arrested is not large and their percentage is small, stressing that these lawyers forged agencies to sell real estate in addition to forging legitimate agencies, especially for people outside the country.
In his speech, Burhan does not add new information about violations in Assad’s areas, but rather reveals some of the robberies of the property of the forcibly displaced, especially in the “settlement” areas.
More than one side was involved
The editor-in-chief of the “Voice of the Capital” website, Ahmed Obaid, confirms the increase in robberies of the property of expatriates and forcibly displaced people in the countryside of Damascus, assuring “Orient Net” that the looting of property takes place within a certain methodology, through which definitive sales contracts are forged with an old date, and then a lawsuit is filed. Judicial action against the property owner, and a judgment confirming the sale is issued.
He adds that most of the cases that have been documented in the Damascus countryside belong to people forcibly displaced with their families, accusing several parties of involvement, starting with the plaintiffs, and then the witnesses who partner with the suitors, and some lawyers who know that the process is a “robbing” of property and not To install an official sale.
He points out that the judiciary is one of those involved, where the role of the judge and his assistant is to set a close date for the hearing, unlike the routine case in which the date for a decision is set months later, then comes the role of the judge who issues the ruling, and he is also often aware that the process is a theft of property Requesting witnesses and conducting routine procedures is to protect himself from future accountability.
Among the parties involved are also the police departments, as Obeid confirms, who indicated that the judge issues a notification to the defendant to attend the hearing, which includes the date of the session and the reason for the lawsuit and its applicant, provided that the notification is delivered to his family if he is a displaced person or an expatriate, and here is the role of the police stations that are received Officially, the notification reached the concerned parties, and accordingly the judge issues his ruling on the grounds that the defendant refused to attend the hearing.
Muhammad from the city of Daraya tells Orient Net about an incident that took place months ago, the summary of which is that a displaced person from his city was deprived of his share in his family’s sold home, after his brother, with the help of a lawyer, obtained a forged death statement for him.
From Muhammad’s point of view, this incident reveals the extent of corruption in Assad’s institutions, stressing that Assad militia leaders and merchants are linked to officials behind these crimes.
Networks above the law
In the same direction, a Syrian lawyer residing in Damascus points out that accepting “visual” agencies without verifying the client’s identity or the absence of a defect of will, such as extortion, has led to an increase in the number of these cases. He pointed out, during his interview with Orient Net, to other methods, Including the resort of networks to the judiciary to install real estate sales by impersonating the owners of real estate and housing.
Mostly, these networks are linked to warlords and influential figures, according to the lawyer, who confirmed that the judiciary cannot pursue networks because of protection for them, and also because of the chaos, concluding by saying: “They are above the law.”
The lawyer’s testimony intersects with a report published by the “Syrian Network for Human Rights” last February, in which it confirmed that “the Assad regime resorted to fighting its opponents by seizing their lands and properties as a form of punishment extended to them and their families, while at the same time achieving material gains and redistributing them to the security services and militias.” local”.
In light of corruption, chaos, and complicity on the part of the Assad regime, a member of the Syrian Legal Council, Abdel Nasser Hoshan, stresses the invalidity of these sales, and reduces their legal impact on personal property rights. He told Orient Net: “Any victim can claim one day (when reach a political solution) by not violating his property, and he can also file a suit to evict a usurper against the individuals who seized his property.
Hoshan draws attention to the issuance of a decision by the General Authority of the Court of Cassation affiliated with the Assad militia, which overturns the principle of good faith in real estate sales, as the decision nullifies the previous and subsequent contracts in the event of any defect.
However, the actions of the Assad regime do not support this, as there are frequent reports that the Assad regime has seized real estate in many areas in the countryside of Damascus after abandoning its owners, by security decisions (possession, freezing), or by creating organizational zones, to block the way back to their owners.
Last April, the “Association of Detainees and Missing Persons at Sednaya Prison” estimated in a report on the regime’s seizure of funds and property belonging to detainees and forcibly disappeared from 2011 to 2021, the value of what was seized at about 1.5 billion US dollars, stressing that the assets seized by Assad, Stocks include financial, real estate, companies, cars, items such as jewelry, electronics and equipment, agricultural crops, livestock, and poultry.