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Sudanese court begins ousted president trial over military coup

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A Sudan court has begun the trial of ousted President, Omar al-Bashir, for his involvement and leading a military coup that brought him to power 31 years ago.

It would be recalled that Al-Bashir came to power in 1989 after leading a military coup against democratically elected Prime Minister Sadek al-Mahdi.

Al-Bashir reigns end in 2019 after he was ousted in April 2019 following months of pro-democracy protests and mass sit-ins over what was described as his government autocratic rule.

But, Al-Bashir and 26 other defendants gave brief introductory statements before the Supreme Court sitting in Khartoum, the Sudan capital on Tuesday for commencement of trial.

A judge then rejected the defence’s appeal for a postponement, filed on the basis of Sudan’s fragile political climate, and questioning the impartiality of the court.

However, the judge scheduled the next session for Sept. 15. The trial was initially set to start in late July but was postponed three times following outbreak of coronavirus.

Al-Bashir is facing charges of undermining the constitution, rebellion, and violating the Armed Forces Act, Al-Moez Hadra, who belongs to the group of lawyers who filed the criminal lawsuit, said.

The 76-year-old will stand trial with several co-accused, among them two of al-Bashir’s former vice presidents as well as former ministers and governors.

If convicted, al-Bashir, who is already imprisoned for corruption, could face a death sentence. The ousted president was convicted in late 2019 on corruption charges but was never tried for alleged crimes against humanity he was said to have committed under his 30-year rule.

The volatile nation in the Horn of Africa is currently run by a transitional government made up of military and civilian officials.

 

(BBC)

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