Sudan’s ex-president Omar Al-Bashir appears in cage in court as corruption trial gets underway

Sudan's deposed military ruler Omar Al-Bashir stands in a defendant's cage during the opening of his corruption trial in Khartoum Monday. (AFP)
Updated 19 August 2019
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Sudan’s ex-president Omar Al-Bashir appears in cage in court as corruption trial gets underway

  • Bashir was charged with illicit possession of foreign currency and accepting gifts in an unofficial manner
  • His trial will be a test of how serious the country's authorities are about trying to erase the legacy of his autocratic 30-year rule

KHARTOUM: Sudan’s ousted president Omar Hassan Al-Bashir on Monday arrived amid heavy security at the courthouse in the capital Khartoum where he is facing corruption charges, a Reuters witness said.
Bashir is charged with illicit possession of foreign currency and accepting gifts in an unofficial manner, prosecutor Alaa Al-Din Abdallah said in June.
His trial will be a test of how serious authorities are about trying to erase the legacy of his autocratic 30-year rule, marked by widespread violence, economic collapse and the secession of South Sudan.
Bashir was also charged in May with incitement and involvement in the killing of protesters, and prosecutors also want him questioned over suspected money laundering and terrorism financing.
On Saturday, Sudan’s ruling military council, which took over after Bashir was ousted in April, signed a power-sharing agreement with the main opposition coalition, paving the way for a transitional government and eventual elections. It sets up a sovereign council as the highest authority in the country, but largely delegates executive powers to the cabinet of ministers.
The sovereign council was due to be sworn in on Monday. But the spokesman for the Transitional Military Council, Lt. Gen. Shams El Din Kabbashi, said the formation of the new ruling body would be delayed by 48 hours on the request of the opposition coalition.


Fallen Tunisian autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali dies

Updated 18 min 13 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.