Omar al-Bashir charges for corruption

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (VOP TODAY NEWS) — The trial of ousted Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who has ruled Sudan for 30 years on corruption charges, began on Monday as the transition to a civilian authority awaits the first concrete action to appoint members of the sovereign council.

Bashir, who was ousted by the army on April 11 under the pressure of mass demonstrations, arrived in the morning in the Khartoum court amid heavy military escort.

Prosecutors told Bashir, 75, that he faced charges of “foreign exchange possession, corruption” and abuse of influence.

Brigadier General Ahmed Ali, police investigating the Bashir case, told the court at the start of the trial that Bashir had received $ 90 million in cash from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Bashir’s trial was due to begin on Saturday, the day of the signing of the historic agreement on the transition between the military junta since April and the “coalition of forces of freedom and change,” but was postponed.

In late April, junta chairman Abdel Fattah al-Burhan announced that $ 113 million worth of banknotes had been found in three different currencies at al-Bashir’s residence in Khartoum.

In May, the Attorney General also announced that Bashir had been charged with killing demonstrators in demonstrations that toppled him without specifying when his trial would begin.

Crimes in Darfur

Amnesty International noted that the trial of al-Bashir on corruption charges should not divert attention from the charges against him by the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Bashir, who ruled his country after an Islamist-backed coup in 1989, is under international arrest warrants issued by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing during the conflict in Darfur in 2003.

The United Nations says the Darfur conflict has killed 300,000 people and displaced 2.5 million, while hundreds of thousands are still living in camps in desperate condition and poor after 15 years of conflict.

The ICC has been demanding years for Bashir to be tried and renewed demands to do so after his removal.

During the transitional period in Sudan, Amnesty International called on the new institutions of government to ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, allowing Bashir to be transferred to the ICC.

Protests against the Bashir regime erupted on December 19 after his government tripled the price of bread.

It continued after his overthrow in April, demanding the transfer of power to civilian forces, and led on Saturday to the signing of an agreement between the ruling military and leaders of the protest movement.

Thousands of Sudanese celebrated this historic agreement, while the announcement of the composition of the sovereign council, which will lead the country during the transitional period, was postponed on Sunday, with five people selected by the protest movement rejecting the offer to join the council.

It is expected to announce the final composition of this Council on Monday.

The “Sovereign Council” is supposed to have 11 members, six civilians and five soldiers. It is presided over for 21 months by a military officer and then by a civilian for the remaining 18 months.

The task of this council is to oversee the formation of a civilian administration during the transitional period.

-Reservations-

The official signing ceremony of the “Constitutional Declaration” was held on Saturday in the presence of several foreign leaders in a sign that Sudan may turn the page of isolation experienced during the era of Bashir.

But despite the joy surrounding the signing of the agreement on the transitional period, there are still reservations within the protest movement, especially about the presence of the Vice-Chairman of the Military Council, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, known as Humaidati Mohammed in the transition process, who participated in the signing of the agreement.

Deklo leads the RSF accused of carrying out a bloody sit-in in front of the armed forces headquarters in Khartoum on June 3. Many fear he will monopolize power later and destroy the country’s democratic transition.

Women, who were strongly present at the protests, also condemned the poor representation of women in transitional institutions.

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