Sudan's Bashir Makes First Public Appearance Since His Ouster

Published June 17th, 2019 - 06:50 GMT
Sudan's ousted president Omar al-Bashir (C) is escorted into a vehicle as he returns to prison following his appearance before prosecutors over charges of corruption and illegal possession of foreign currency, in the capital Khartoum on June 16, 2019.  (AFP/ File Photo)
Sudan's ousted president Omar al-Bashir (C) is escorted into a vehicle as he returns to prison following his appearance before prosecutors over charges of corruption and illegal possession of foreign currency, in the capital Khartoum on June 16, 2019. (AFP/ File Photo)
Highlights
Fallen Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir was on Sunday seen in public for the first time.

Fallen Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir was on Sunday seen in public for the first time since being ousted, as he was driven in an armed convoy to the prosecutor's office.

The former dictator, who ruled his country with an iron fist for three decades, was toppled on April 11 after weeks of protests against his reign.

Dressed in a white traditional robe and turban, Bashir rode in a heavily-armed convoy from the notorious Kober prison in the Sudanese capital Khartoum to be quizzed by prosecutors for alleged corruption.

Prosecutor Alaeddin Dafallah told reporters after Bashir left the office that the ousted president had been informed that he was facing charges of "possessing foreign currency, corruption and receiving gifts illegally."

Meanwhile, a top general from the country's new ruling military council vowed that those who carried out a deadly crackdown on an iconic protest site that left dozens dead earlier this month would face the death penalty.

"We are working hard to take those who did this to the gallows," Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, deputy chief of the ruling military council said in a speech broadcast live on state television.

"Whoever committed any fault" will be held accountable, Dagalo added.

Bashir had swept to power in an Islamist-backed coup in 1989. 

Sudan suffered high rates of corruption during his rule, ranking 172 out of 180 countries in Transparency International's 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index.


When he imposed a state of emergency on February 22 in a bid to quell protests that erupted in December over the spiralling costs, Bashir issued a decree making it illegal to possess more than $5,000 in foreign currency.

But in April, military council chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said more than $113 million worth of cash in three currencies had been seized from Bashir's residence after he was toppled.

A team of police, army and security agents found seven million euros ($7.8 million), $350,000 and five billion Sudanese pounds ($105 million). 

The protest movement which led to Bashir's ouster is now at odds with the country's ruling military council, which critics accuse of trying to consolidate power.

Earlier this month, a brutal crackdown on dissent left about 120 people dead and hundreds wounded, according to doctors linked to protesters, while the health ministry put the death toll at 61.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


Copyright @ 2019 The New Arab.

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