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Sudan court charges Bashir over illicit funds after receiving millions from Saudi crown prince MbS

A Sudanese court on Saturday charged ousted president Omar al-Bashir [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 31 August, 2019

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A Sudanese judge formally indicted former president Omar al-Bashir on charges of possessing illicit foreign currency and corruption on Saturday.
A Sudanese court on Saturday charged ousted president Omar al-Bashir, on trial for corruption, with illegal acquisition and use of foreign funds.

Judge Al-Sadiq Abdelrahman said at the third session of Bashir's trial that foreign funds of multiple currencies were found at his home.

Authorities had "seized 6.9 million euros, $351,770 and 5.7 million Sudanese pounds at (Bashir's) home which he acquired and used illegally," the judge said.

Bashir, 75, wearing a traditional white gown and headdress and seated in a metal cage, admitted to receiving the equivalent of $25 million from Saudi royals. 

"My office manager... received a call from the office of Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman saying he has a 'message' that will be sent on a private jet," Bashir said during the trial.

"We were told that the crown prince did not want his name to appear (linked to the transaction), and if the funds were deposited with Sudan's bank or the finance ministry, the source would have to be identified," he said.

The judge said illegal acquisition of wealth was punishable by up to 10 years in jail, while illicit use of foreign funds carried up to three years.

An investigator had previously told the court that Bashir received $90 million in cash from Saudi royals.

The trial was adjourned until September 7.

Bashir was ousted in April after mass protests against his three-decade rule rocked Sudan for months.

Sudan has embarked on a transition to civilian rule following a power-sharing deal signed on August 17 by protest leaders and the generals who ousted Bashir.

Protesters have called for Bashir to face justice not just over corruption but for his role in the country's deadly conflicts.

The former Sudanese leader is wanted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague over his role in mass killings in the western region of Darfur.

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