Sudan: Ex-leader Bashir sentenced for corruption

A court in Sudan last weekend convicted former President Omar al-Bashir on corruption charges and sentenced him to a two-year detention in a reform facility.

Dressed in traditional white robes and a turban, Bashir watched silently from inside a metal defendant’s cage while the judge read out the verdict on Saturday.

Al-Bashir ruled Sudan for 30 years before being removed in April by mass protests triggered by austerity measures.

While al-Bashir has faced allegations of misconduct on a number of counts, the trial that concluded Saturday was focused on financial wrongdoing. The court convicted al-Bashir on corruption charges, reaping illicit financial gains, illegal possession of foreign currency, and financial irregularity.

Just after his overthrow, law enforcement officials found more than $130 million at his home in various currencies, at least $25 million of which al-Bashir said he received from Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

In May, the former ruler was charged with incitement and involvement in the killing of protesters. Last week he was also summoned for questioning over his role in the 1989 military coup that brought him to power.

The Sudanese authorities have refused to hand over Bashir to the international criminal court in The Hague, which has accused him of criminal responsibility for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide after the killing, maiming and torture of hundreds of thousands of people in Darfur.

The UN estimates 200,000 to 400,000 people died in the conflict and a further 2.7 million were displaced.

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