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Al Bashir graft trial continues in Khartoum

August 26 - 2019 KHARTOUM
Al Bashir appears in court in a cage, Khartoum, August 19 (Social media)
Al Bashir appears in court in a cage, Khartoum, August 19 (Social media)

The Khartoum trial of former Sudanese dictator Omar Al Bashir, who ruled Sudan for 30 years before being deposed by a military coup d’état on April 11, continued on Saturday with testimony being heard from three witnesses.

Al Bashir is charged possessing foreign currency, corruption, and receiving gifts illegally. As at the start id the trial last week, tight security surrounded the courthouse and Al Bashir himself, who again appeared from within a security cage  On Saturday, the court of deposed President Omar Al Bashir heard three witnesses amid tight security.

The witnesses the court heard, were an intelligence officer, a prosecutor, and a bank employee assigned to count the bales of Sudanese and foreign currency allegedly found at Al Bashir’s Khartoum residence after his arrest.

New witnesses next Saturday

The court announced the postponement of the decision on the charges against the ousted dictator to another hearing next Saturday, as it is scheduled to hear other witnesses who were unable to attend this session.

Al Bashir’s lawyer demanded that the court release him on ordinary bail. He also requested the family of the accused be allowed to visit him in Kober prison. The judge asked the defence team to submit these requests in writing.

Currency

Al Bashir arrived at the Judicial and Legal Science Institute, in a large military convoy, dressed in traditional Sudanese dress last Monday, and appeared behind a cage. He is charged with “possessing foreign currency, corruption, and receiving gifts illegally”.

As reported by Radio Dabanga in April, a substantial amount of cash was seized during a search of Al Bashir’s residence in Khartoum. In a statement at the time, the Senior Public Prosecutor Mutasim Mahmoud announced the seizure of $351 million, €6,7 million, £5.2 million, and SDG 5 billion ($105 million*). Some of the cash found was shown to reporters. It had been packed in sacks designed for 50kg of maize meal.

‘Saudi millions’

Giving evidence for the prosecution last week, a detective testified that during questioning by investigators following his detention, Al Bashir admitted to receiving ‘millions of dollars’ from Saudi Arabia.


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