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Defense Witness: Sudan’s Ex-Leader Kept Key to Room with Millions of Euros

Defense Witness: Sudan’s Ex-Leader Kept Key to Room with Millions of Euros

Sunday, 8 September, 2019 - 07:00
Bashir sat in a metal cage in the courtroom wearing traditional white robes and turban, AFP

A Sudanese court on Saturday heard testimonies of defense witnesses in the trial of ousted President Omar al-Bashir on charges of possessing illicit foreign currency and corruption.


An accountant at the International University of Africa, who was mentioned in al-Bashir's confession, and the former leader’s last office manager testified.


Speaking at Bashir's trial on charges of possessing illicit foreign currency and corruption, Yasser Basheer said the former president gave him more than 10 million euros' ($11 million) cash in his final months of rule for delivery to different parties.


Sudan's toppled Bashir was the only person with a key to a room at the presidential palace holding millions of euros, the former regime’s office manager testified.


The former manager also said the president once gave him 5 million euros for Abdelrahim Hamdan Dagalo, deputy head of the feared paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).


Other recipients of cash included the Defense Ministry, plus military personnel and civilians for medical treatment, Basheer said, adding that he did not know the source of the cash and was only following orders.


Abdelmoneim Mohamed, an accountant at the International University of Africa, a private institution with links to Islamists, also testified in Bashir's defense. He said the university's director and deputy director received 4 million euros in cash from Bashir.


Bashir sat in a metal cage in the courtroom wearing traditional white robes and turban.


The defense team, however, failed to bring Hatem Hassan Bakheet to testify.


Bakheet, who served in Bashir’s office, did not testify at the trial’s fourth session for medical reasons.


It is worth noting that Bashir's next court session is expected for September 14.


After his overthrow, Bashir was transferred to the capital's maximum-security Kober prison, where thousands of political prisoners were held during his 30 years in power.


Sudan has since 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.


A civilian-military ruling body is now tasked with steering the country through a three-year transition period.


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