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Sudan’s Ousted President on Trial For ‘Prohibited Richness’

Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir, the president of Sudan, listens to a speech during the opening of the 20th session of The New Partnership for Africa's Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Jan. 31, 2009.
Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir, the president of Sudan, listens to a speech during the opening of the 20th session of The New Partnership for Africa's Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Jan. 31, 2009. (Photo: U.S. Navy photo, Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jesse B. Awalt/Released)

Testimony by a high-ranking police officer was a part of the Sudanese court hearing Monday, Aug. 19. The officer said that Omar Al Bashir had admitted that some of the money he kept for himself was part of $90 million U.S. dollars, provided by the Saudi royal family, including crown prince, Mohammad Bin Salman.

Sudanese judges decided this week to resume its tribunal of Sudan’s deposed president, Omar al-Bashir, on Saturday, Aug. 31. The decision came during al-Bashir’s court appearance over what the court termed “prohibited richness” and corruption-related charges.

The Sudanese dictator who ruled for 30 years sat in a black metal cage in a court in Khartoum and spoke out his name and age before prosecutors and investigators, the Financial Times reported.

As al-Bashir, dressed in immaculate white robes, appeared in court, prosecutors described the charges against him. This came following 30 years in office before the military toppled and detained al-Bashir in April amidst mass protests at his regime’s mishandling of the African country’s economy.

Not Enough

Yet, despite bringing an end to the al-Bashir regime, protesters fear that al-Bashir’s prosecution is not enough.

Amjed Farid, a spokesman for the key opposition party, the Sudanese Professionals Association, said, “It is a relief to see him behind bars, but the current case against him is about money laundering and dealing in foreign currency, [but] we don’t think this is the only crime that al-Bashir committed.”

In 2010 the International Court of Justice accused al-Bashir of trying to wipe out non-Arab ethnic groups in the now independent Darfur region, south of Sudan. An international arrest warrant was issued against al-Bashir, and the United States imposed sanctions on his regime.

Testimony by a high-ranking police officer included that al-Bashir had admitted that some of the money he kept for himself was part of $90 million U.S., provided by the Saudi Royal family, including crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman.

“The accused told us that the money was part of a sum of $25 million Prince Mohammed bin Salman sent to him to be used outside of the state budget,” police Brigadier General Ahmed Ali told the court.

Over three decades al-Bashir’s security services intimidated Sudanese opposition groups, while his military officers carried out deadly military assaults in the now-independent South Sudan and in Darfur, South Kordofan and other regions of the country.

New Authorities

Amnesty International had earlier urged the new authorities in Sudan to address past human rights violations and undertake desperately needed reforms to ensure that there can be no repeat of the heinous crimes under international law the country has witnessed over the past three decades.

Earlier this month, Sudan’s transitional military council and civilian opposition leaders signed a power-sharing deal in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum. The deal allows the country’s rivals to rule Sudan for a transitional period of three years to be followed by general elections.

The newly signed agreement stipulates a joint military-civilian sovereign council will rule the country by means of a rotation of power. A total of six civilians and five individuals from the military will share in ruling the country, with the military taking the reins for a period of 21 months, followed by an 18-month civilian-led administration.

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Rami Almeghari

Rami Almeghari is a freelance independent writer, journalist and lecturer, based in the Gaza Strip. Rami has contributed in English to several media outlets worldwide, including print, radio and TV. He can be reached on facebook as Rami Munir Almeghari and on email as [email protected]

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