Court adjourns Bashir’s 1989 coup trial until August

by Abdulmumeen S. Yitta
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A Sudanese court has adjourned the hearing of the ousted Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir’s 1989 coup trial as crowds swarmed the court premises before the hearing could begin.

The trial, which was supposed to begin on Tuesday July 21, 2020, has been postponed until August 11 when the court would hear Bashir’s charges for leading a military coup that brought him to power in 1989.

If Bashir is convicted of the charges, he could land a death sentence.

According to Judicial officials, the trial which Bashir’s lawyer said is a political trial per excellence, also includes Bashir’s former allies, former Vice President Ali Osman Taha and Ali al-Haj, secretary general of the Islamist Popular Congress Party (PCP).

A request by defense lawyers’ that some of the defendants be released before trial resumes in August was rejected by the Judge.

Bashir who also faces trial over killing of protesters, was served a two-year sentence in December last year by a Sudanese court on corruption charges.

International Criminal Court also in 2019 and 2010 issued a warrant for Bahsir’s on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur region of Sudan

While announcing postponement of the hearing the judge said, “We will end this court session and adjourn trial proceedings to take better measures to have a bigger hall to include all lawyers.”

As one of the factors that led to the trial being postponed was complaints from lawyers who said that some of their colleagues could not get into the court room due to the crowds.

There was also a concern over spread of coronavirus pandemic as many people called for precautionary measures to be taken to avoid risk of infections.

Bashir was the seventh president of Sudan from 1989 to 2019, when he was ousted by the military.

Since Bashir was deposed, Sudan has been ruled by a transition government that would share power with the military that was the architect of Bashir’s removal from power.

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