Witness: ‘Al Bashir office manager handed out millions of Euros in Sudan’
Sudan’s former dictator Omar Al Bashir “gave his office manager more than €10 million to dole out to several institutions and militia in the month before he was ousted from power”. Speaking as a defence witness, Al Bashir's former office manager admitted this during Saturday’s session of the corruption trial against the deposed president.
Al Bashir was officially ‘ indicted last week for possessing illicit foreign currency and corruption.
Former office manager Yasir Bashir testified he once delivered millions of Euros to Abdelrahim Hamdan who was deputy head of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and brother of RSF commander Lt Gen Mohamed Hamdan ‘Hemeti’,’ now a member of the Sovereign Council. Bashir testified that Hemeti was present when the money was handed over.
Bashir also delivered money to the Defence Ministry, and paid for medical treatment of military personnel and civilians. An accountant at the International University of Africa, which has links to the Islamist movement, also testified in Al Bashir’s defence by saying the university received €4 million from Al Bashir in cash.
Bashir also said that Al Bashir was the only person with a key to a room at the presidential palace where millions of Euros were stacked. In April, Radio Dabanga reported that cash worth hundreds of millions of Euros was seized from Al Bashir’s Khartoum residence. Investigators said during the trial that more than $130 million was found at the ’ residence in April.
At the first session of the trial last week Al Bashir claimed that he had received $25 million from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, but that he had given away all of that money.
Al Bashir’s team of nearly 130 lawyers argued that the money was given to the accused as a person and not as president of Sudan. They claim that documents prove how Al Bashir spent all the money he received.
The ousted Sudanese president, who is being held in Khartoum’s Kober Prison, was once again denied bail again at the trial session on Saturday.
Spokesperson Hasan Fadlallah of the Former Judges’ Association described the trial of the ousted President Al Bashir last week as “an absurd play, not a real trial”.
He said that he expects the ousted president to be convicted for “the minor financial crimes he has been indicted for”. Fadlallah asserts that should Al Bashir be convicted by a court in Sudan, he will first have to serve his sentence in a Sudanese prison before he can be extradited to face the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.
Al Bashir has been wanted by the ICC since 2009 for alleged atrocities during the war in Darfur that started in 2003, in which at least 300,000 people were killed and 2.7 million other were displaced.
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