Former Sudan dictator Bashir sentenced to two years 'rehabilitation' over corruption charge

Ousted leader faces several charges brought since his 30 years in power came to an abrupt end

Nadir Ahmed
Saturday 14 December 2019 12:37
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Protesters in Sudan rejoice after officials say al Bashir has quit

Omar al-Bashir, former president of Sudan, has been sentenced to two years in a rehabilitation facility for money laundering and corruption.

It is the first verdict in a series of legal proceedings against Bashir, who is also facing charges relating to the killing of protesters during the uprising against his authoritarian rule earlier this year.

Before he was sentenced, supporters of the ex-president briefly disrupted the proceedings and were pushed out of the courtroom by security forces.

Bashir was charged earlier this year with money laundering, after millions of US dollars, euros and Sudanese pounds were seized in his home shortly after he was ousted.

In August, he told the court Mohammed Bin Salman, the Saudi Arabia Crown Prince, had given him $25m through his office manager.

He said the crown prince did not deposit the money in the country’s central bank as he did not want to be revealed as the source of the funds, and claimed the money was used for donations.

At least $2 million dollars went to a military hospital and $3 million to a Sudanese university, he said.

Bashir said $5 million was given to the Rapid Support Forces, a paramilitary unit that grew out of the feared Janjaweed militias unleashed during the Darfur conflict in the 2000s.

The former leader is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes and genocide linked to this conflict.

The verdict in the corruption trial came a year after Sudanese protesters first began their revolt against Bashir’s authoritarian rule.

Anti-government demonstrations initially erupted last December over steep price rises and shortages but soon shifted to calls for Bashir to step down.

Security forces responded with a fierce crackdown that killed dozens of protesters in the months before he was forced out.

The 75-year-old has been in custody since April, when Sudan’s military removed him from power and entered into a power-sharing agreement with civilians.

The verdict could be appealed before a higher court.

Associated Press

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