The uncle of the current president is a former vice president of Syria who quit the country in 1984. Dubbed the “Butcher of Hama,” he was accused of orchestrating the slaughter of up to 40,000 innocents during a 1982 uprising against the previous president’s rule. He has dismissed the allegations “a myth.” According to the Telegraph, he currently lives in a luxury townhouse in London’s exclusive Mayfair district next door to his 36-year-old son Ribal Assad, who runs a protest group opposing the current regime in Syria. The elder Assad told TIME in Nov. last year that he wants to oversee a peaceful transition of power in his homeland. But his involvement has not been welcomed by all Syrian dissidents.