Trial of Sudan's ousted President Omar al-Bashir delayed

Wednesday August 12 2020

Sudan's ex-president Omar al-Bashir appears in court in the capital Khartoum on August 31, 2019. Ebrahim Hamid | AFP



The trial of Sudan's ousted ex-president Omar al-Bashir was delayed Monday at the request of his defence, a prosecution lawyer said.

The trial of Bashir over the military coup that brought him to power more than three decades ago, as well as of 27 other defendants, opened with a brief hearing in July.

The second hearing had been set for August 11.

But defence lawyers requested a delay for three of the defendants -- Bashir as well as two former senior leaders of the once powerful but now defunct National Congress Party.

"Lawyers for three defendants petitioned the Court of Appeal to release three defendants on bail, after the court refused to grant their request at the trial's first hearing on July 21," Moaz Hadra, one of the prosecution lawyers, told AFP.


"The Court of Appeal must rule, and then a new date for the trial will be set."

Death penalty

Bashir, 76, and his co-accused could face the death penalty if convicted over the 1989 Islamist-backed overthrow of the democratically elected government of prime minister Sadek al-Mahdi.

It is the first time in the Arab world's modern history that the architect of a coup is tried for plotting a putsch, although the man dubbed the true brain behind it, Hassan Turabi of the National Islamic Front, died in 2016.

Bashir stayed in power for 30 years before being overthrown on April 11, 2019 after several months of unprecedented, youth-led street demonstrations.

The trial comes as Sudan's joint civilian-military transitional government is introducing a host of reforms and has relaunched peace talks with rebel groups.