Stacks of cash seen at trial of ousted Sudan president Omar Al Bashir

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STACKS of cash were presented in front of judges as evidence against ousted Sudanese president Omar Al Bashir during his trial on Saturday.

Euros and Sudanese pounds were found at Bashir’s former residence after the military detained him in April on the back of countrywide demonstrations.

The former president is charged with corruption and of possessing illicit foreign currency.

Four witnesses in defence of Bashir, including former minister of state Abubakr Awad, spoke before the court was adjourned for another week.

One member of his defence said possessing the funds did not mean Al Bashir committed a crime.

‘These sums of money were found in the possession of the president. And possessing any sum does not constitute a crime, whether it was $1 million or $100 million,’ he told reporters.

‘Trading in foreign currency is what constitutes a crime,’ he said. Charges related to illicit gain and accepting gifts did not apply to the president, he said.

Al Bashir appeared in a somewhat uplifted spirits with a smile as he sat in a metal cage in the courtroom listening to his defence.

He also spoke publicly for the first time since he was deposed, saying he did not use any foreign currency for his own benefit.

Al Bashir ruled Sudan for 30 years, and has since been replaced by generals who seized power after overthrowing him on April 11.

In August, Sudan embarked on a transition to civilian rule thanks to a power-sharing deal signed between protest leaders and the generals, and a joint civilian-military ruling body was sworn in.

On Sunday, an 18-member cabinet was sworn in, the first since the overthrow of Al Bashir.

 

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