16 December 2019
A court in Sudan convicted former president Omar al-Bashir (in picture) of money laundering and corruption on Saturday, and sentenced him to two years in a minimum-security facility. The presiding judge said that the former president will be sent to a reform facility instead of a prison because his age. al-Bashir, 75, will be sent to a state-run lockup for elderly people who are convicted of crimes not punishable with death. He will remain in jail while facing an ongoing trial on separate charges regarding the killing of protesters in the months prior to his ouster. Bashir also faces charges related to the 1989 coup that brought him to power.
Millions of U.S. dollars, euros and Sudanese pounds were later seized in al-Bashir’s home. al-Bashir told the court he had received through his office manager $25 million from Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. The judge ordered that the foreign currency and Sudanese pounds found in the residence of al-Bashir be forfeited to the court. Ahmed Ibrahim al-Tahir, Bashir’s lead defence lawyer, said the former president he would appeal the verdict.
al-Bashir’s second wife, Widad Babakr, was detained last week for questioning about her alleged bank accounts and the residential lands she owns in the luxurious Kafouri area in the suburb of the Khartoum Bahri District. She had been under house arrest in Khartoum since al-Bashir’s overthrow.
al-Bashir is also wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes and genocide linked to the Darfur conflict in the 2000s. Sudan’s military has said it would not extradite him to the ICC. The country’s military-civilian transitional government has not indicated whether it will hand him over to The Hague. The Darfur conflict left around 300,000 people dead and 2.5 million displaced, according to the United Nations.
Castanet reported.