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Sudan: Bashir corruption trial starts

August 19, 2019

Sudan's deposed president arrived amid heavy security at the courthouse in Khartoum where he is facing charges of financial malpractice. Amnesty International say that he still has to face heavier charges in The Hague.

Sudan's Ex-President Umar al-Bashir
Image: Reuters/M. N. Abdallah

Omar al-Bashir, the former Sudanese president, arrived in court on Monday as his trial on charges of corruption began.

After being overthrown in April following a military coup, Bashir was found in possession of large sums of Sudanese and foreign currency, as well as other assets, without legal justification.

In addition, Bashir was charged in May with incitement as well as being linked with the killing of protesters.

The trial commenced in the wake of the ruling military council and the main opposition coalition signing a final agreement for a transitional government.

The Constitutional Declaration, which was finalized on August 4, paved the way for a return to civilian rule following the ousting of Bashir, after the authoritarian leader had been in power for the past 30 years.

Just the beginning

Amnesty International warned last week that the 75-year-old's trial should not distract from the more severe charges he faces in The Hague.

"While this trial is a positive step towards accountability for some of his alleged crimes, he remains wanted for heinous crimes committed against the Sudanese people," Amnesty's Joan Nyanyuki said.

"Omar al-Bashir has evaded justice for far too long as the victims of horrific crimes still wait for justice and reparations more than a decade since the ICC issued the first warrant for his arrest," she said.

jsi/ng (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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