On Wednesday, the trial of ousted President Omar Al Bashir began in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum.
Al Bashir was not personally present at the hearing ‘for security reasons’. His defence lawyers submitted a request to postpone the sessions from 15 August to 17 August, which was approved by the court.
Ahmed El Tahir, the head of Al Bashir’s defence team composed of 96 lawyers, said in a press statement that security conditions prevented the presence of Al Bashir, who is being held in Khartoum’s Kober prison, which his regime made infamous.
Al Bashir is facing trial for corruption and the illegal ownership of wealth and foreign currency.
President Omar Al Bashir, was overthrown when the Sudanese military seized power on April 11 by means of a coup. Al Bashir himself seized power in a coup in 1989,
Al Bashir has been indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. He now also faces investigation on charges under Sudan’s Foreign Exchange Law and money laundering after Sudanese authorities seized a substantial amount of cash during a search of Al Bashir’s residence in Khartoum. Amounts of $351 million, €6,7 million, £5.2 million, and SDG 5 billion ($105 million) were recovered and deposited within the vaults of the Central Bank of Sudan.
Substantial amounts of money have also been recovered from bank accounts held by Al Bashir. Just one such account at a commercial bank in Khartoum, held 315 million Saudi Riyals ($84 million).
In June, prosecutor Fatou Bensouda called on the ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) to transfer ousted President Omar Al Bashir and four other suspects in the Darfur situation to the ICC in The Hague, however the TMC have made it clear that Al Bashir will face domestic prosecution.
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