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Sudanese court postpones al-Bashir second trial for three weeks

Judge Issam al-Din Mohammad Ibrahim (C) presides over the trial of ousted President Omer al-Bashir on 21 July 2020 (AFP Photo/ASHRAF SHAZLY)
July 21, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - A Sudanese court postponed the trial of the former President Omer al-Bashir over his coup d’├ętat 30 years ago for three weeks to allow the preparation of a bigger hall.

"We decided to postpone the trial session to 11 August as we need a bigger hall to guarantee social distancing, put different arrangements in place and ensure that the entire defendants have lawyers and other rights," said the judge.

The courtroom was not enough to contain over a hundred lawyers, family members of Omer al-Bashir and the other indicted and journalists who jostled outside the court.

This is the second time after his ouster that al-Bashir appeared in court for as he faces charges of undermining the constitution when he carried out a military coup that brought him and other Islamists to power in June 1989.

Al-Bashir who had been ousted in April 2019 following four months of protests was sentenced last December to two years in a correctional facility as he was convicted of corruption and detention of hard currency.

This time he is tried with other Islamist leaders for overthrowing a democratically elected government of former prime minister Sadiq al-Mahdi on 30 June 1989.

Al-Bashir who was seen in a white prison uniform faces death penalty in convicted by the court.

Appeared with him some 20 former officials including former Vice-President Ali Osman Mohamed Taha, Ali al-Haj, Secretary-General of the Islamist Popular Congress Party (PCP), and Nafi Ali Nafi a former presidential aide and influential Islamist leader.

In February 2020, Sudan agreed to hand al-Bashir and others to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Darfur.

(ST)