Sudan's Bashir gets two years' detention for corruption

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KHARTOUM — A Sudanese court on Saturday ordered former president Omar Al-Bashir to be detained for two years in a correctional center for corruption in one of several cases against the ousted leader.

Bashir, who was toppled by the army in April after months of mass demonstrations, was convicted of graft and "possession of foreign currency", judge Al Sadiq Abdelrahman said.

The court ordered the 75-year-old to serve two years in a correctional center for the elderly.

"Under the law, those who reached the age of 70 shall not serve jail terms," the judge said.

Bashir will serve his sentence after the verdict has been reached in another case in which he is accused of ordering the killing of demonstrators during the protests that led to his ouster, the judge said.

The court also ordered the confiscation of 6.9 million euros, $351,770 and 5.7 million Sudanese pounds ($128,000) found at Bashir's home.

The ex-president will appeal the verdict, said one of his lawyers, Ahmed Ibrahim.

Outside the court, several dozen Bashir supporters protested chanting: "There is no God but God."

During his trial which began in August, the deposed leader appeared several times in a metal cage wearing the traditional Sudanese white jalabiya and turban.

Bashir's lawyer Mohamed Al-Hassan had said before the verdict that the ex-president's defense did not see the trial as a legal case, but as "a political" one.

The trial does not relate to charges Bashir faces at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Bashir has been wanted by the ICC for years for his role in the Darfur war that broke out in 2003, when ethnic minority rebels took up arms against his government which they accused of marginalizing the region.

The Darfur conflict left around 300,000 people dead and 2.5 million displaced, according to the United Nations.

After Bashir was toppled, ICC prosecutors requested he stand trial for the killings in Darfur.

Separately, on Nov. 12, Sudanese authorities filed charges against Bashir and some of his aides for "plotting" the 1989 coup that brought him to power.

In May, Sudan's attorney general said Bashir had been charged with the deaths of those killed during the anti-regime demonstrations that led to his ouster, without specifying when he would face trial. — AFP


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