0417 GMT March 29, 2020
That’s the first verdict in a series of legal proceedings against 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, AP reported.
The verdict comes a year after Sudanese protesters erupted in revolt against Bashir’s authoritarian rule. During his three decades in power, Sudan landed on the US list for sponsoring terrorism, and the country’s economy was battered by years of mismanagement and American sanctions.
Bashir has been in custody since April, when Sudan’s military ousted him after months of nationwide protests. The uprising eventually forced the military into a power-sharing agreement with civilians.
Under Sudanese law, Bashir, 75, will be sent to a state-run lockup for elderly people who are convicted of crimes not punishable with death. But he will remain in jail amid an ongoing trial on separate charges regarding the killing of protesters in the months prior to his ouster.
Before the verdict was read, supporters of Bashir briefly disrupted the proceedings and were pushed out of the courtroom by security forces. The ex-president appeared in the defendant’s cage wearing a traditional white robe and turban. He had arrived in a white Land Cruiser SUV amid tight security at the Judicial and Legal Science Institute in the capital, Khartoum.
Sudan’s military has said it would not extradite him to the ICC. The country’s military-civilian transitional government has not indicated whether they will hand him over to The Hague.
Anti-government demonstrations erupted last December over steep price rises and shortages, but soon shifted to calls for Bashir to step down. Security forces responded with a fierce crackdown that killed dozens of protesters in the months prior to his ouster.
Millions of US dollars, euros and Sudanese pounds were seized in Bashir’s home shortly after the military removed him from power.
Saturday’s verdict could be appealed before a higher court.