World / Crime & Legal

Sudan court charges former President al-Bashir with illegal use of foreign funds

AFP-JIJI

A Sudanese court on Saturday charged ousted President Omar al-Bashir, on trial for corruption, with illegal acquisition and use of foreign funds.

Judge Al-Sadiq Abdelrahman said at the third session of al-Bashir’s trial that foreign funds of multiple currencies were found at his home.

Authorities had “seized €6.9 million, $351,770 and 5.7 million Sudanese pounds at (al-Bashir’s) home which he acquired and used illegally,” the judge said.

Asked about the source, al-Bashir, 75, admitted to receiving funds from Saudi royals.

“My office manager … received a call from the office of Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman saying he has a ‘message’ that will be sent on a private jet,” al-Bashir said during the trial.

“We were told that the crown prince did not want his name to appear (linked to the transaction), and if the funds were deposited with Sudan’s bank or the Finance Ministry, the source would have to be identified,” he said.

The judge said illegal acquisition of wealth is punishable by up to 10 years in jail, while illicit use of foreign funds carries a term of up to three years.

An investigator had previously told the court that al-Bashir received $90 million in cash from Saudi royals.

The trial was adjourned until Sept. 7, a correspondent who attended the session said .

Al-Bashir was ousted in April after mass protests against his three-decade-long rule rocked Sudan for months.

Sudan has embarked on a transition to civilian rule following a power-sharing deal signed on Aug. 17 by protest leaders and the generals who ousted al-Bashir.