SAT 17 - 8 - 2019
Aug 2, 2019
The Daily Star
Bashir corruption trial to begin Aug. 17: lawyer
KHARTOUM: The trial of ousted Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir on corruption charges will begin on Aug. 17, his lawyer said, after the ex-president failed to appear in court Wednesday for the first session. “Today was the first session of his trial, but the authorities were unable to bring him due to security reasons, so the judge informed us that the trial will now start on Aug. 17,” Hashim al-Gaaly told AFP.
The head of Bashir’s defense team, Ahmad Ibrahim al-Tahir, said the trial had no “political background.”
“It is an absolute criminal case with a baseless accusation.”
On June 16, a prosecutor had read out charges against the deposed leader in what was his first public appearance since his ouster on April 11.
Bashir faces charges related to “possessing foreign currency, corruption and receiving gifts illegally.”
Tahir said that one of the charges against Bashir was related to about 7 million euros which were given as a “grant by a donor and was not included in the state budget.”
In April, Sudan’s army ruler Gen. Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan said more than $113 million worth of cash in three currencies had been seized from Bashir’s residence.
He said a team of police, army and security agents found 7 million euros ($7.8 million), $350,000 and 5 billion Sudanese pounds ($105 million).
Bashir was ousted by the army after months of nationwide protests that erupted in December following his government’s decision to triple the price of bread. Meanwhile, Sudanese activists are calling for mass protests across the country amid tensions with the ruling generals following violence in a central province.
The Sudanese Professionals Association has spearheaded the protests that led to Bashir’s ouster says the marches Thursday will demand justice for those killed over the weekend in student protests in the North Kordofan province.
Ismail al-Taj, a protest leader, Wednesday appealed on the military council, which runs the country, to protect protesters.
Security forces fired live ammunition Monday in the North Kordofan city of Obeid to disperse student protests. At least six people were killed, including four students.
The planned marches come as experts from the military council and the pro-democracy movement are finalizing a power-sharing agreement.
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