WORLD Sudan court charges Bashir with holding illegal foreign funds

WORLD

Sudan court charges Bashir with holding illegal foreign funds

CGTN

04:04, September 01, 2019

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(Photo: CGTN)

A Sudanese judge formally indicted former President Omar al-Bashir on charges of possessing illicit foreign currency and corruption on Saturday.

Authorities had "seized 6.9 million euros, 351,770 US dollars and 5.7 million Sudanese pounds at (Bashir's) home which he acquired and used illegally," the judge said.

Questioned in court for the first time, Bashir said that he had received 25 million US dollars from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as well as funds from other sources, but that he had not received or used the money for his own benefit.

"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. 
A lawyer for Bashir said that his client denied the charges against him and that witnesses for the defense would be presented at the next hearing. 
The judge denied a request for bail and said a decision on the duration of Bashir's detention would be taken at a hearing on September 7. 
Sudan's military ousted and arrested Bashir in April after months of protests across the country.  
The country 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. 
A police detective told the court earlier this month that Bashir had acknowledged receiving millions from Saudi Arabia. 

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