August 24, 2019 / 12:32 PM / a month ago

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

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - The lawyer for Sudan’s ex-president Omar Hassan al-Bashir said on Saturday that he will request that Bashir be released on bail as his trial on corruption charges continues.

Sudan's former president Omar Hassan al-Bashir sits guarded inside a cage at the courthouse where he is facing corruption charges, in Khartoum, Sudan August 19, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

“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.

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.

Bashir acknowledged receiving millions of dollars from Saudi Arabia, a police detective told the court on Monday.

Bashir weathered multiple rebellions, economic crises, U.S. 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.

Bashir did not speak during Saturday’s hearing.

A group of about 150 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.”

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.

Reporting by Eltayeb Siddig, Writing by Nafisa Eltahir

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