Sudan's Opposition Lawyers to Defend Detainees of 'Subversive Attempt'

Photo: Arne Doornebal/ RNW
Army (file photo): Dozens of high-ranking army and security officials have been arrested for allegedly trying to sabotage the government.

Khartoum — A group of lawyers mostly associated with opposition parties in Sudan decided on Sunday to form a committee to defend the suspects detained in relation to what the authorities describe as a "subversive attempt" to seize power.

Sudanese authorities announced on Thursday, 22 November, that they arrested 13 individuals including former chief of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), Salah Gosh, Brigadier General Mohamed Ibrahim Abdel-Galil "Wad Ibrahim" from the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), and Major General Adil Al-Tayeb from the NISS on suspicion of standing behind a "subversive attempt" that security authorities allegedly foiled earlier on the same day.

There is no word so far on when will the suspects stand trial but Gosh, who also serves as an MP, already had his immunity revoked.

A number of lawyers led by Nabil Adeeb, a prominent legal expert and outspoken critic of the government, offered to defend Gosh and held their first meeting at Gosh's office in Khartoum 2 neighborhood, where they formed a defense committee and named Adeeb as chairman and each of Ali Al-Said, Al-Tayyib Abbas, Babikir Abdel Rahman, Adil Ghashum Al-Moos, Omer Hummaid, and Youssef Ahmad Mohammed Osman as members.

Gosh's older brother Abdel Azim Abdella addressed the meeting and thanked the lawyers for their initiative. He expressed their family's concern for the situation of his brother saying that Gosh was now "in the hands of his real enemies who are seeking to liquidate him politically" The lawyers agreed to meet again in the next few days to discuss ways of submitting a legal memo on the situation of the suspects.

In a related context, the head of the security and defense committee of the Sudanese parliament, Mohammed Al-Hassan Al-Amin, announced on Sunday that the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) is going to consider dropping Gosh's membership. He also revealed that the request to revoke his immunity was issued a day before his arrest.

He also said that the subversive attempt was a bona fide coup attempt, describing the plan as "foolish"

Gosh's arrest marked the ultimate downfall of the once powerful spy chief who is better known for his deep cooperation with the United States on counter-terrorism following September 2001 attacks in Washington and New York by Al-Qaeda.

Last year Gosh was abruptly sacked by Bashir from his position as presidential adviser for security affairs. No reason was given for the decision but it happened shortly after Gosh was involved in an imbroglio with presidential assistant and powerful NCP figure Nafe Ali Nafe with whom he is rumored to share a rivalry.

His sacking from the Presidential Palace also followed his surprise removal in 2009 by the Sudanese president from the directorship of the NISS. He was also stripped of his leadership position in the ruling NCP.

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