KHARTOUM – Sudan’s public prosecutor has begun investigating ousted President Omar al-Bashir on charges of money laundering and possession of large sums of foreign currency without legal grounds, a judicial source said Saturday.
The source said that military intelligence had searched al-Bashir’s home and found suitcases loaded with more than $351,000 and €6 million, as well as 5 million Sudanese pounds.
“The chief public prosecutor . . . ordered the (former) president detained and quickly questioned in preparation to put him on trial,” a judicial source said.
“The public prosecution will question the former president in Kobar Prison,” the source added.
Relatives could not be immediately reached Saturday for comment about the investigation.
Al-Bashir, who is also being sought by the International Criminal Court over allegations of genocide in the country’s western Darfur region, was ousted on April 11 by the military following months of protests against his rule and had been held at a presidential residence.
Al-Bashir’s family said earlier in the week that the former president had been moved to the high-security Kobar Prison in Khartoum.
As president Bashir often played up his humble beginnings as the child of a poor farming family in Hosh Bannaga, a small village consisting mainly of mud houses on the eastern bank of the Nile some 150 km (93 miles) north of Khartoum.
The Sudanese Professionals’ Association, leading the protests, has called for holding al-Bashir and members of his administration to account, a purge of corruption and cronyism and easing an economic crisis that worsened during al-Bashir’s last years in power.
On Wednesday, Sudan’s transitional military council ordered the central bank to review financial transfers since April 1 and to seize “suspect” funds, according to state news agency SUNA.
The council also ordered the “suspension of the transfer of ownership of any shares until further notice and for any large or suspect transfers of shares or companies to be reported” to authorities.