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Khartoum court to resume trial of student charged with murder next week

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Anti-riot policemen outside the Khartoum University after a student protest on 7 November 2016 (ST Photo)
February 15, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Trial of a college student charged with murder for allegedly killing a police officer during protests at University of Khartoum (UofK) last April is scheduled to resume on 22 February in Khartoum, said head of the defence team.

Asim Omer Khalifa, who faces charges under article 130 “premeditated murder” of the Penal Code, is a member of the student chapter of the opposition Sudanese Congress Party (SCoP).

Trial proceedings have stopped last September following the decision by the Judge at Khartoum North criminal court to prevent two members from the prosecution and defence teams from appearing before the court after they had engaged in sharp verbal altercation inside the courtroom.

The court of appeals endorsed the judge’s decision to deny the member of the prosecution Abdel-Rahim al-Khair al-Hassan and member of the defence Hassan Fadl Allah appearance before the court.

However, the higher court has returned the case file to the Khartoum North criminal court after it cancelled the ruling of the court of first instance and the court of appeals regarding al-Hassan while it endorsed the decision to remove Fadl Allah from the defence team.

Head of the defence team Mohamed al-Hafiz on Wednesday told Sudan Tribune that the Khartoum North criminal court has decided to resume trial of Khalifa on 22 February.

He downplayed the higher court decision to remove Fadl Allah’s name from the defence team, pointing the prosecution team member al-Hassan can’t practically appear before the court because he has been dismissed from the justice ministry for poor performance.

In April 2016, massive demonstrations erupted at the (UofK) following press statements made by some officials about government intentions to transfer the university from its current location and to lease out its premises for investment purposes.

Dozens of students were arrested and others wounded in the protests when the police intervened with tear gas and rubber bullets.

(ST)

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