News ID: 258080
Published: 1255 GMT August 31, 2019
Bashir tells court Saudi crown prince gave him $25m

Sudan's ex-president charged with corruption, holding illicit foreign currency

Sudan's ex-president charged with corruption, holding illicit foreign currency
EBRAHIM HAMID/AFP
Sudan's ex-president Omar al-Bashir (C) appears in court in the capital Khartoum.

A Sudanese judge formally indicted former president Omar al-Bashir on charges of possessing illicit foreign currency and corruption on Saturday.

Questioned in court for the first time, Bashir said that he had received $25 million from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as well as funds from other sources, but that he had not received or used the money for his own benefit, Reuters reported.

A lawyer for Bashir said that his client denied the charges against him and that witnesses for the defense would be presented at the next hearing.

The judge denied a request for bail and said a decision on the duration of Bashir’s detention would be taken at a hearing on Sept. 7.

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, AFP reported.

Asked about the source, Bashir, 75, admitted to receiving funds from Saudi royals.

"My office manager... received a call from the office of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed 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.

Sudan’s military ousted and arrested Bashir in April after months of protests across the country. His prosecution is seen as a test of how far military and civilian authorities now sharing power will go to counter the legacy of his 30-year rule.

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.

A police detective told the court earlier this month that Bashir had acknowledged receiving millions from Saudi Arabia.

 

 

   
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