Former Sudanese President al-Bashir jailed for corruption

14 December 2019, 12:27

President Omar al-Bashir
President Omar al-Bashir. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

A court in Sudan has has convicted former President Omar al-Bashir of money laundering and corruption and sentenced him to two years in prison.

It is the first verdict in a series of legal proceedings against al-Bashir, who is also wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes and genocide linked to the Darfur conflict in the 2000s.

The verdict came a year after Sudanese protesters first began their revolt against al-Bashir's three-decade authoritarian rule.

During that time, Sudan was added to the US list for sponsoring terrorism, and the economy has been destroyed by years of mismanagement and American sanctions.

Before the verdict was read, supporters of al-Bashir briefly disrupted the proceedings and were pushed out of the courtroom by security forces.

Al-Bashir, 75, has been in custody since April, when Sudan's military stepped in and removed him from power after months of nationwide protests.

The uprising eventually forced the military into a power-sharing agreement with civilians.

Protests broke out after he was arrested
Protests broke out after he was arrested. Picture: PA

The former strongman was charged earlier this year with money laundering, after millions of US dollars, euros and Sudanese pounds were seized in his home shortly after his removal from office.

The Sudanese military has said it would not extradite him to the ICC. The country's military-civilian transitional government has so far not indicated whether they will hand him over to the The Hague.

The corruption trial is separate from charges against al-Bashir regarding the killing of protesters during the uprising.

Anti-government demonstrations initially erupted last December over steep price rises and shortages, but soon shifted to calls for al-Bashir to step down.

Security forces responded with a fierce crackdown that killed dozens of protesters in the months prior to his ouster.