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Friday, 06 December 2019

Sudan verdict in ousted President Bashir graft trial on 14 December

Authorities seized 6.9 million euros, $351,770 and 5.7 million Sudanese pounds ($128,000) from Bashir's home

AFP , Saturday 16 Nov 2019
Sudan
Sudan's ex-president Omar al-Bashir appears in court in the capital Khartoum on August 31, 2019. (Photo: AFP)
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The verdict in the corruption trial of Sudan's ousted president Omar al-Bashir is to be delivered on December 14, a judge announced Saturday, as his supporters staged a protest outside the court.

Bashir, who was overthrown by the army in April amid mass protests against his 30-year-rule, has been on trial in a Khartoum court since August on charges of illegally acquiring and using foreign funds -- offences that could land him behind bars for more than a decade.

Several hearings have been held, including one on Saturday, in the presence of the deposed leader who followed the proceedings from inside a metal cage.

"It has been decided that on December 14 a session will be held to deliver the verdict," judge Sadeq Abdelrahman said.

Authorities seized 6.9 million euros, $351,770 and 5.7 million Sudanese pounds ($128,000) from Bashir's home, Abdelrahman said at the start of the trial in August.

Bashir said at the time that the funds were the remainder of $25 million received from Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The aid, he said, formed part of Sudan's strategic relations with Saudi Arabia and were "not used for private interests but as donations".

Several defence witnesses testified in court, some backing up Bashir's account.

Against the backdrop of trial in Khartoum, calls have grown from global rights groups, activists and victims of the war in Darfur to transfer Bashir to The Hague-based International Criminal Court.

Dozens of Bashir's supporters carrying his portraits held a protest outside the court, vowing to oppose any move by Sudan's new authorities to hand him over to the ICC to be tried on accusations of crimes against humanity.

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