Sudan’s ex-president stands trial for corruption in Khartoum

Sudan’s ex-president Omar Al-Bashir. [Photo: Internet]

Sudan’s former President Omar Al-Bashir, who ruled the country for 30 years, has arrived in a Khartoum court for the start of his trial on corruption charges.

The deposed leader faces charges related to “possessing foreign currency, corruption and receiving gifts illegally”.

On Saturday, protest leaders and the military signed a final power-sharing deal, paving the way for a transition to a civilian-led government.

Al-Bashir seized power in a military coup on June 30, 1989, and stayed in office until April 11, 2019, when he was overthrown and arrested by the armed forces.

His downfall was brought about by thousands of Sudanese from all walks of life who took to the streets for four months to demand an end to the 75-year-old’s rule.

Prosecutors have also opened other criminal investigations against Al-Bashir, including on charges of money laundering, financing “terrorism” and “ordering the killing of protesters” – the latter is an offence that carries the death penalty in Sudan.

Before Monday’s trial, Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa Joan Nyanyuki said in a statement: “While this trial is a positive step towards accountability for some of his alleged crimes, he remains wanted for heinous crimes committed against the Sudanese people.”

Over the course of his time in office, Al-Bashir led Sudan through several conflicts and is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged atrocities in Darfur.

Al-Bashir was also the last man to lead a united Sudan, prior to South Sudan’s independence in 2011.

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