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Sudanese court sentences al-Bashir for two years in correctional facility

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Sudan’s deposed military ruler Omar al-Bashir stands in the defendant’s cage during the opening of his corruption trial in Khartoum on 19 August 2019 (AFP Photo)

December 14, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - A Sudanese criminal court on Saturday sentenced the former President Omer al-Bashir to two years of detention on charges of corruption and detention of hard currency.

Al-Bashir trial for corruption is the first one of a series of lawsuits, including the coup d’etat of 30 June 1989 that undermined the constitutional order, crimes against humanity and intentional homicide. The punishment of these cases amounts to the death penalty.

"The convict, Omer al-Bashir, is imprisoned in a correctional institution for two years. The seized sums of national and foreign currency are confiscated," said the judge al-Sadiq Abdel-Rahman.

Al-Bashir’s convictions under the Unlawful Enrichment Law drops with it all the chants and slogans of the alleged innocence and honest, said the General Attorney in a statement issued on Saturday evening.

"The Public Prosecution is now investigating the crimes committed by al-Bashir and other figures of his former regime from 1989 to the date of the collapse of his regime in April 2019 including murders of demonstrators, human rights violations, crimes against humanity in Darfur, the Nuba Mountains and the Blue Nile, rape crimes, torture crimes, enforced disappearance crimes, and other corruption crimes that amount to billions of dollars ... etc)," further said the statement.

The attorney general further condemned the conduct of defence lawyers inside the courtroom during the judgment hearing and described it as "unacceptable".

Al-Bashir’s defence lawyers accused the court judge of politicizing the ruling and left the room before the issuance of his decision.

Ahmed Ibrahim al-Tahir, the head of the defence team, said they would appeal the court verdict against al-Bashir.

"The judge made the ruling based on political motives, but despite that, we still have confidence in the Sudanese judiciary," said al-Tahir.

The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), one of the main pillars of the ruling coalition Forces for Freedom and Change and the SPLM-N led by Malik Agar welcomed the first condemnation against the former and pointed to the next trials

"This ruling represents a political and moral condemnation of the deposed president and his regime. Also, the court’s findings reveal an aspect of the state’s mismanagement and public money," said the SPA.

"This is just the first kick. The natural place for al-Bashir is the International Criminal Court in The Hague. The cases he now faces are the lowest crimes he committed," said Yasir Arman in a statement to Sudan Tribune

(ST)