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Sudan: Bashir Defense Asks for Release on Bail

Sudan: Bashir Defense Asks for Release on Bail

Sunday, 25 August, 2019 - 09:00
Sudan's former president Omar Hassan al-Bashir stands guarded inside a cage at the courthouse where he is facing corruption charges, in Khartoum, Sudan August 19, 2019. (Reuters)
Khartoum - Ahmed Younes

The defense of the deposed Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has asked the court to release him on bail in a corruption trial, while the fourth hearing will be held on Saturday.

Bashir is facing charges of corruption and illegal possession of foreign currency. Three different currencies were found at his residence in Khartoum, although the “emergency law” he issued criminalizes the possession of foreign currencies.

Head of Bashir’s defense team, the lawyer and former Speaker Ahmed Ibrahim al-Taher said in a press statement before the court that the team of lawyers consisting of more than 130 members, submitted their request for bail to an appeals judge after the second hearing in the trial.

Taher expects the court to approve the bail request, adding that in such cases, the defendant may be released by guarantee because it is a very ordinary case.

He said the defense team had also asked the court to allow him to meet Bashir in his prison.

Head of the defense team told reporters that the trial is still in the process of the indictment and that the defense presented three witnesses from the members of the committee that searched the presidential residence.

Taher described the testimony prosecution witnesses as “ordinary” and added “nothing new to the case.” He explained that the prosecution still has two witnesses to summon for questioning before the defense begins their argument.

The defense vowed to present evidence refuting all the accusations, adding that the next session will be on Saturday.

Taher also noted that the prosecution consists of seven counselors, while the defense is composed of over 130 experienced lawyers, all of which meet to prepare their case.

The defense case will be strong and coherent, he asserted.

The court held three sessions during the second hearing and heard testimonies of three prosecution witnesses, while prosecutor Yasser Bukhari indicated that one of the witnesses is outside the country.

Senior Public Prosecutor Mutasim Mahmoud told the court that after searching the presidential residence, authorities found amounts of foreign currency such as euros and dollars and that the case was transferred from his office and under his supervision to the Anti-Corruption Prosecution.

The second witness, Abdul Majid Taha, a major in the Military Intelligence Service, confirmed that he was part of the committee tasked with inspecting the presidential residence and found the money inside.

Ali Siddiq Hamad, an employee of Omdurman National Bank, said that he had counted the money, found at Bashir's residence, which amounted to of $351 million, €6.7 million, £5.2 million, and SDG 5.7 billion.

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