$7 million cash hoard found in home of Sudan’s ousted leader Omar Al-Bashir

Sudanese protesters protest outside the army complex in Khartoum on April 20, 2019. (AFP / OZAN KOSE)
Updated 21 April 2019
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$7 million cash hoard found in home of Sudan’s ousted leader Omar Al-Bashir

  • Raiders seize suitcases containing euros, US dollar and Sudanese pounds
  • Bashir was ousted by the military on April 11 after months of protests demanding an end to corruption

CAIRO: Sudan’s deposed leader Omar Al-Bashir faces trial for money laundering after a hoard of cash was found in his home in Khartoum.

Military intelligence officers who searched the former president’s house found suitcases containing 6 million euros, more than $351,000 in US bills, and 5 million Sudanese pounds — a total of more than $7 million.

He faces charges of money laundering and possession of large sums of foreign currency without legal grounds, a judicial source said. 

“The chief public prosecutor ... ordered the former president detained and quickly questioned in preparation to put him on trial,” the source said. “The public prosecution will question him in Kobar prison.”

Bashir was ousted by the military on April 11 after months of protests demanding an end to corruption. 

The country’s transitional military council last week ordered the central bank to review financial transfers since April 1 and to seize “suspect” funds. 

It also ordered the “suspension of the transfer of ownership of any shares until further notice and for any large or suspect transfers of shares or companies to be reported.”

A delegation from the Alliance for Freedom and Change, the umbrella group for protesters, held talks with the military council on Saturday about handing over power to a civilian administration.

If the military rulers refused to hand over power, the protest leaders will announce a “sovereign civilian council” on Sunday, said Ahmed Al-Rabia, a leading member of the Sudanese Professionals Association, the group that launched the initial protests.

“If they are willing to negotiate, then there is a chance that tomorrow’s announcement could be postponed,” he said. “What we want from them is a timetable to hand over power, so things don’t drag.”

Army chiefs had held two rounds of talks with the protest leaders since Bashir was removed, he said. “During these talks we’ve felt that the military council has no desire to hand over power.”

Officials from the African Union also held talks on Saturday with the military council.  

Gen. Omar Zain Al-Abidin, head of the council’s political committee, said the military council’s job was to provide a climate for political forces to rule Sudan in a peaceful and democratic way.  They discussed how the African Union could help in the transition.

The group has given Sudan two weeks to form a civilian administration or risk expulsion.

 


Fallen Tunisian autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali dies

Updated 5 min 16 sec ago

Fallen Tunisian autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali dies

TUNIS: Tunisia's ousted autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali died on Thursday, days after a free presidential election in his homeland, his family lawyer said.

“Ben Ali just died,” the lawyer, Mounir Ben Salha, told Reuters by phone.

Ben Ali fled Tunisia in January 2011 as his compatriots rose up against his oppressive rule in a revolution that inspired other Arab Spring uprisings abroad and led to a democratic transition at home.

On Sunday, Tunisians voted in an election that featured candidates from across the political spectrum, sending two political outsiders through to a second round vote unthinkable during Ben Ali's own era of power.

However, while they have enjoyed a much smoother march to democracy than citizens of the other Arab states that also rose up in 2011, many of them are economically worse off than they were under Ben Ali.

While almost all the candidates in Sunday's election were vocal champions of the revolution, one of them, Abir Moussi, campaigned as a supporter of Ben Ali's ousted government, receiving 4 percent of the votes.