August 22, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – A Sudanese court in Khartoum sentenced a police officer to four years in jail and a fine equivalent to 4,000 pounds after convicting him on charges of smearing the reputation of the Interior Ministry and providing false information.
Captain Abu Zeid Abdullah Saleh was suspended by the ministry and referred to a special police court after he sent a memorandum to President Omer Hassan al-Bashir through presidential assistant Abdel-Rahman al-Mahdi which he also submitted to the Sudanese Police Director.
Saleh’s 13-page letter contained allegations of corruption within the ministry which he also shared with the Interior minister.
Later the ministry suspended him from duty and ordered that he stand before an inquiry committee which recommended that he be tried and placed in maximum security imprisonment.
The judge has refused to approve a request by Saleh’s defense team to subpoena several senior officials to testify including al-Mahdi, interior minister Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid and police Chief General Hashim Osman Hussein
He also rejected adding four more defense lawyers to the defense team prompting the latter to withdraw briefly before returning after internal deliberations.
They instead decided to file a complaint against the court with Chief Justice, Justice Minister, Interior Minister and lawyers syndicate among several parties.
The also pledged to discuss the defendant’s allegations with the Sudanese presidency and present documentary evidence that were excluded from the trial by the court.
Early in 2012, president Bashir ordered the establishment of an anti-corruption commission to “monitor and follow what is being published in the media about corruption,” and to coordinate with the Presidency of the Republic and other competent authorities in the Ministry of Justice and the National Assembly in order to complete information on what is being raised about corruption on the state level”.
But after more than a year of seemingly zero activity, Bashir sacked the commission head and did not appoint a replacement dealing blow to demands by the public for more robust investigation of corruption.
Bashir himself has persistently downplayed the magnitude of corruption saying that most of it amount to nothing more than rumors without credible proof.