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Bashir’s 1989 coup case adjourned again

Author: Obaj Okuj | Published: Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Omar al-Bashir in a cage after being sentenced for corruption on Saturday December 14, 2019

The high court in Sudan has once again adjourned its session today in the trial of the former President Omar al-Bashir.

Bashir and 27 others were to appear before a judge for crimes related to the bloodless coup over thirty years ago.

As a colonel in the Sudanese Army, al-Bashir led a group of army officers in ousting the elected coalition government of then Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi on 30 June 1989.

After his removal from office last year, Bashir has faced several charges including corruption, and other malpractices to which he has been sentenced to jail.

In July this year, the special court in Khartoum started another trial of al-Bashir on charges of “undermining the constitutional order and overthrowing an elected civilian government.”

Those accused include; 10 military officers and six civilians who held ministerial positions, state governorship and military positions during al-Bashir’s rule.

Prominent among them are; Ali Osman Mohamed Taha, Abd al-Rahim Muhammad Hussain, Ali al-Hajj, Awad Ahmed al-Jaz and Ibrahim al-Senussi.

But the court on 21st July adjourned the hearing due what it described as the “absence of some defendants of the 1989 coup.”

This morning, the court proceeding was again postponed.

The presiding judge only confirmed the names of the accused and recessed the hearing to September 15th.

It is not clear what circumstances led to this second respite.

The case is considered the first of its kind against a former head of state, and especially on Omar al-Bashir who is now 76-year-old.

If convicted for the “coup against the democratically elected government,” he could face a death penalty.

The Sudanese Criminal Law of 1983 punishes any acts that undermine a constitutional system or participation in the criminal act.

Bashir was ousted in April 2019 by the army following months of civilians protests over prices of food items and calls for reforms in Sudan.

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