Crime & Justice

Bashir’s appearance before court over 1989 coup postponed

Khartoum, Jul 21 (efe-epa).- The first appearance of former Sudanese dictator Omar al-Bashir before the judiciary over the 1989 coup that led him to the power was postponed due to absence of defense attorneys.

“As a result of the absence of some defense attorneys of the accused… the session has been postponed to 11 August,” judge Esam al-Din Mohamed Ibrahim said an hour after the arrival of al-Bashir to the court.

Al-Bashir, ousted in April 2019, arrived to the court room at Khartoum’s Institute of Legal and Judicial Training clad in a traditional Sudanese tunic and a turban. He was accompanied by other 27 accused in the case.

After the decision, the accused were moved in three vehicles guarded by over a dozen of police cars to the Kober prison, where the former president is serving a two-year sentence for money laundering.

Before getting into the vehicle, al-Bashir waved to a little less than 100 people and relatives of the defendants whom the authorities did not allow to attend the session.

In April, the public prosecution accused al-Bashir and other 34 political and military leaders of “undermining the constitutional system” over their role in the coup that took place on 30 June 1989.

Should they be found guilty, they could face death penalty or life imprisonment.

Among the defendants are the former vice president Bakri Hasan Saleh, former defense minister Abdulrahim Husein and leaders of the National Congress Party who came to power after the coup.

In May 2019, Sudan’s public prosecution announced it had accepted a lawsuit submitted by a group of attorneys seeking to investigate al-Bashir and his advisors over the coup that ousted the cabinet of Sadiq al-Mahdi.

The Sudanese public prosecutor announced in December a probe into alleged crimes al-Bashir committed in Darfur, but no progress has been announced on that case.

Al Bashir was convicted in December of laundering money he claimed he had received from Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman. EFE-EPA

az-ar-cgs/ta/jt

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