Ousted Sudanese leader, Al-Bashir, jailed two years for corruption

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Seventy-five-year old Sudan’s ex-president, Mr. Omar al-Bashir, has been sentenced to two years in a social reform facility after being found guilty of corruption and illegitimate possession of foreign currency.

The judge told the court that, under Sudanese law, people over the age of 70 cannot serve jail terms.

Consequently, Al-Bashir will be sent to a correctional facility.

Bashir was still held in the maximum-security Kobar Prison while he faced these charges — and will return there on Saturday as he faces another upcoming trial.

The former leader, who appeared in a metal cage inside a courtroom in the capital Khartoum, will next face a charge of plotting the 1989 coup that brought him to power as well as genocide, and the killing of protesters before his ousting in April.

Once this separate verdict is delivered, he will then serve the two-year correctional facility sentence handed down Saturday — along with any additional sentences.

During the sentencing, his supporters started chanting that the trial was “political” and were ordered to leave.

They continued their protest outside the court, chanting: “There is no god but God.”

Afterwards one of the ousted leader’s lawyers, Ahmed Ibrahim, said they would appeal against the verdict.

Mohamed al-Hassan, another lawyer for Bashir, previously said the defence did not consider the trial a legal one but a “political” one.

It is unclear whether Bashir will be tried over widespread human rights abuses during his time in power, including allegations of war crimes in Darfur.

The corruption case was linked to a $25 million (£19 million) cash payment he received from Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman.

Bashir claimed the payments were made as part of Sudan’s strategic relationship with Saudi Arabia, and were “not used for private interests but as donations.”

While Sudanese law prohibits anyone over 70 facing the death penalty, it could still be invoked in some particularly serious crimes, regardless of age.

Bashir was ousted in a military coup in April following a lengthy popular uprising.

Under his iron grip, an entire generation grew up in the shadow of war, where the threat of torture in infamous “ghost houses” was never far away, and press freedom nonexistent.

The dictator has been imprisoned in the same notorious Khartoum jail where generations of political dissidents were held under his three-decade rule.

BBC/CNN

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