Former Sudan President, Omar al-Bashir, On Trial For 1989 Coup

Former Sudan President, Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir, has appeared before a court in Sudan over a military coup that brought him to power in 1989.

Al-Bashir, 76, was ousted in 2019 after 30 years of rule and several wars in Sudan. He has since been in prison for corruption but if convicted of the new charges, he will be sentenced to death.

On Tuesday, Al-Bashir and 26 other defendants gave brief introductory statements at the Supreme Court in the capital, Khartoum.

A judge rejected the defence’s appeal for a postponement, filed on the basis of Sudan’s fragile political climate and questioning the impartiality of the court.

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The judge scheduled the next session for Sept. 15.

The trial initially set to start in late July has been adjourned three times for reasons including lack of coronavirus precautions.

Al-Bashir is facing charges of undermining the constitution, rebellion and violating the Armed Forces Act, Al-Moez Hadra, who belongs to the group of lawyers who filed the criminal lawsuit, said.

The 76-year-old will stand trial with several co-accused, among them two of al-Bashir’s former vice presidents as well as former ministers and governors.

Al-Bashir came to power in 1989 after he led a military coup against democratically elected Prime Minister Sadek al-Mahdi.

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He was ousted in April 2019 after months of pro-democracy protests and mass sit-ins.

Al-Bashir was convicted in late 2019 on corruption charges, but was never tried for alleged crimes against humanity committed under his 30-year rule.

The volatile nation in the Horn of Africa is currently run by a transitional government made up of military and civilian officials.

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