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The New Arab

Sudan to prosecute Bashir over coup, killing of protesters

Bashir is also wanted by the ICC for alleged war crimes in Darfur [Getty]

Date of publication: 13 May, 2019

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Sudan's prosecutor general on Monday announced he would prosecute deposed President Omar al-Bashir for the 1989 coup in which he took power.

Sudan's attorney general on Monday agreed to launch a case against former President Omar al-Bashir who was forced out of power last month following months of popular protests against his rule.

Activists have accused Bashir and his regime of rampant corruption and human rights abuses, in addition to the alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur for which Bashir and several other regime figures are wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Four Sudanese lawyers last week filed a criminal complaint against the ousted president and several other political and military leaders.

The complaint is based upon the military coup which brought Bashir to power in 1989.

The coup was backed by Islamist politicians, a number of whom are named in the complaint, according to one of the lawyers behind the complaint, Mahmoud Hassanein.

Hassanein called for the trial of "every person who is proven through investigation to have participated in the coup, whether in planning or implementation".

The country's ruling transitional military council also took power in a military coup last month.

Sudan's public prosecution on Monday stated that it had accepted the case against Bashir and the attorney general would soon launch an investigation against the deposed president.

Hassanein has said that an investigation will be incredibly simple.

"The facts of the coup are absolutely fixed, with the confessions of the accused already stated in their rise to power," the lawyer told The New Arab's Arabic service.

The prosecutor general announced later on Monday that he had also charged Bashir for the "killing" of protesters.

Sudan's attorney general stated earlier this month that he had ordered the questioning of Bashir on suspicions of money laundering and terrorism financing.

The governing transitional military council has refused to extradite Bashir to the ICC for trial, prompting concern from local and international human rights activists that the leader will not face an open trial.

The council has, however, said a future civilian government could send Bashir to the ICC.

Protesters have expressed concern that the transitional military council, members of which are linked to Bashir's regime, will not deliver justice for Sudanese who suffered abuses under Bashir in Darfur and across the country.

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