Former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir Accused of Receiving Millions from Saudi Arabia

  • An investigator also claimed in court that Mr. al-Bashir had told him that he received millions of dollars from the Saudi royal family.
  • Following months of protests, Mr. Bashir was removed from power in April this year.
  • Mr. Bashir's trial is a test of whether the new Sudanese rulers can successfully hold the former regime accountable.

Former Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who had been in power for nearly thirty years, appeared in court in Khartoum, the capital, on charges of corruption and killing. A Sudanese prosecutor said in June that millions of dollars of foreign currency were found in sandbags at Mr. Bashir’s home. He faces other charges. Mr. Bashir’s lawyers dismiss the charges against him as unfounded.

Omar al-Bashir was President of Sudan from the June 1989 military coup until his own overthrow in April 2019. In 2009, he became the first sitting head of state to be indicted for war crimes, for allegedly directing a campaign of mass killing, rape, and pillage against civilians in Darfur. On 13 May 2019, prosecutors charged al-Bashir with “inciting and participating in” the killing of protesters.

An investigator also claimed in court that Mr. al-Bashir had told him that he received millions of dollars from the Saudi royal family. But Omar al-Bashir’s lawyer denied any unlawful reception by his client. Witnesses say there was heavy security outside the courthouse. According to AFP, the former president was brought to court by the military. Following months of protests, Mr. Bashir was removed from power in April this year. After his ouster, a transitional military council took over.

What are the allegations of corruption?

Omar al-Bashir faces charges of foreign exchange possession, corruption and receiving illegal gifts. In April, Sudan’s military ruler, General Abdul Fattah al-Barhan, said more than $5 million in cash, including Sudan’s pound and other foreign currencies, was seized at Mr. Bashir’s home. The ousted president was due to stand trial in July, but his trial was postponed for security reasons as well as his mother’s death.

What are the other charges against the former president of Sudan?

In May, the Sudanese Attorney General accused Mr. Bashir of encouraging the killing of protesters and involvement in the attack. The demonstrations targeting the protesters were held during Mr. Bashir’s rule. Those protests ended the 30-year rule of Omar al-Bashir.

The charges were brought against Mr. Bashir during an investigation into the killing of a physician in protest. The doctor was treating wounds in his home in Khartoum, when police fired tear gas into the building. A witness said that the doctor came out of the building with his hands raised and told police he was a doctor but was immediately shot.

Sudan is a country in Northeast Africa. It has a population of 39 million people (2016 estimate) and occupies a total area of 1,886,068 square kilometres (728,215 square miles), making it the third-largest country in Africa. Sudan’s predominant religion is Islam, and its official languages are Arabic and English. The capital is Khartoum, located at the confluence of the Blue and White Nile. Since 2011, Sudan is the scene of ongoing military conflict in its regions South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

The Transition to Democracy

Mr. Bashir’s trial is a test of whether the new Sudanese rulers can successfully hold the former regime accountable.

On August 6, a coalition of opposition political groups in Sudan and the ruling military council signed a historic power-sharing agreement. According to the agreement, the new governing council is made up of civilians and a coalition of pro-democracy Democrats to prepare for elections and the establishment of a rule of law. Mohammed Hamdan Daqlu (known as Hamidati), Sudan’s most powerful man, has pledged to abide by the agreement.

The coalition of opposition political groups elected five to attend the governing council. Members of the governing council were due to take an oath on Monday following a call from pro-democracy activists, but the ceremony was delayed by 4 hours, according to an army spokesman.

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George Mtimba

George clarifies how the news is changing the world, how world news trends affect you. Also, George is a professional journalist, a freelance news reporter and writer who is passionate with current world news.


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