Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 20 September 2019

Sudan's ex-president Omar Al Bashir to seek bail in corruption trial

Mr Al Bashir is charged with illicit possession of foreign currency and accepting gifts in an unofficial manner

The lawyer for Sudan's ex-president Omar Hassan Al Bashir said on Saturday that he will request that Mr Al Bashir be released on bail as his trial on corruption charges continues.

"We are going to ask today that he be released on bail because this is an ordinary case," Ahmed Ibrahim told reporers outside the courtroom.

Mr Al Bashir is charged with illicit possession of foreign currency and accepting gifts in an unofficial manner.

During the hearing, the judge asked for the bail request in writing, and said his office was open to receiving it at any time.

Mr Al Bashir weathered multiple rebellions, economic crises, US sanctions and coup attempts until he was overthrown by the military in April after mass protests against his 30-year rule.

His trial is seen as a test of how serious authorities are about trying to erase the legacy of his rule.

Mr Al Bashir did not speak during Saturday's hearing.

A group of about 150 Mr Al Bashir supporters staged a protest near the courtroom, chanting "We stand united behind our leader" and holding signs saying "The trial of the president is the trial of the nation."

Mr Al Bashir was also charged in May with incitement and involvement in the killing of protesters. He has been indicted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague on charges of masterminding genocide in Sudan’s Darfur region.

On Wednesday, Sudan's new prime minister, Abdalla Hamdok, and sovereign council were sworn in, marking the formation of a transitional government that will run the country for three years and three months, according to a power-sharing agreement between the military and the main opposition coalition.

Updated: August 25, 2019 05:29 PM

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