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Sudan court charges Bashir with illegal use of foreign funds

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By Agence France-Presse

A Sudanese court on Saturday charged ousted president Omar al-Bashir, on trial for corruption, with illegal acquisition and use of foreign funds.

Sudan's deposed military ruler Omar al-Bashir sits in a defendant's cage during his corruption trial in Khartoum on August 24, 2019. - Bashir appeared in court for the second hearing of his corruption trial, during which his defence asked for his release on bail. (Photo by Ebrahim HAMID / AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)

Sudan’s deposed military ruler Omar al-Bashir sits in a defendant’s cage during his corruption trial in Khartoum on August 24, 2019. (Photo by Ebrahim HAMID / AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)

Judge Al-Sadiq Abdelrahman said at the third session of Bashir’s trial that foreign funds of multiple currencies were found at his home.

Authorities had “seized 6.9 million euros, $351,770 and 5.7 million Sudanese pounds at (Bashir’s) home which he acquired and used illegally,” the judge said.

Asked about the source, Bashir, 75, admitted to receiving funds from Saudi royals.

“My office manager… received a call from the office of Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman saying he has a ‘message’ that will be sent on a private jet,” Bashir said during the trial.

“We were told that the crown prince did not want his name to appear (linked to the transaction), and if the funds were deposited with Sudan’s bank or the finance ministry, the source would have to be identified,” he said.

The judge said illegal acquisition of wealth was punishable by up to 10 years in jail, while illicit use of foreign funds carried up to three years.

An investigator had previously told the court that Bashir received $90 million in cash from Saudi royals.

The trial was adjourned until September 7, said an AFP correspondent who attended the session.

Bashir was ousted in April after mass protests against his three-decade rule rocked Sudan for months.

Sudan has 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.

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