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Sudan’s court finds Bashir guilty on corruption charges

Sudan’s court finds Bashir
guilty on corruption charges

DPA
Khartoum
Sudan’s ousted president, Omar al-Bashir, was found guilty on charges of corruption by a court in Khartoum on Saturday - a verdict that has been hailed as a victory by those who deposed him.
Judge Al Sadiq Abdul Rahman sentenced al-Bashir to two years in a secure rehabilitation centre after he was convicted on charges of corruption and possessing illicit foreign exchange. His assets, such as cars and cash, also have been confiscated.
“This ruling represents a political and moral condemnation of the ousted and his regime,” the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), one of the groups that led the mass movement to topple him, said.
This is “certainly not the end,” the group added in a statement. “Al-Bashir’s accusation sheets on his largest crimes are being worked on.” Ahmed Ibrahim al-Tahir, a member of al-Bashir’s defence team, told DPA at the court that they would consider appealing the verdict.
“The president did not receive any money for his personal benefit, and the trial took place in complicated political circumstances,” al-Tahir said.
In court, one of al-Bashir’s lawyers, Hashim Al Bukhari, stated: “He is an armed forces officer and commander-in-chief who will not fear any court ruling against him.”
Al-Bashir, who was in power for 30 years, was deposed when members of the military arrested him after months of nationwide anti-government protests.
He was found to be in possession of large sums of local and foreign currency, as well as other assets, without legal justification and was detained in Kobar prison - where he had previously sent many of his political opponents.
While the former president admitted he had received 25 million dollars from Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, he pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Dressed in a flowing white gown and turban, the usually upbeat and confident al-Bashir arrived under high security and appeared nervous as he watched proceedings from behind a metal mesh cage.
As the verdict was read, his lawyers and supporters erupted in chants of derision, saying the trial was “political” and the court “unjust.” They were promptly evicted.
Such corruption crimes usually carry a minimum two to three-year prison sentence, but because al-Bashir is 75 years old, the judge gave him a more lenient term in the rehabilitation centre.

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