Sudan's Ousted Leader Omar Al-Bashir Goes On Trial

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir

Sudan's former president, Omar al-Bashir, has gone on trial over the military coup that brought him to power three decades ago. Bashir was ousted in a popular uprising last year.

A new trial began on Tuesday against Omar al-Bashir and some of his former allies. They are charged with leading the 1989 military coup that put Bashir in power.

If found guilty, the 76-year-old Bashir could face the death penalty.

State TV showed footage of the proceedings opening on Tuesday, but did not show images of Bashir himself. Dozens of people, mostly Bashir supporters, gathered outside the courthouse in Khartoum.

The Islamist-backed coup that established Bashir's reign overthrew the democratically-elected government of Prime Minister Sadek al-Mahdi in 1989.

Other defendants on trial Tuesday include former Bashir allies such as military officers and Islamists.

Jailed since ouster

Bashir himself was toppled in April of 2019 following mass protests against his three decades in power and has remained in jail ever since. He was given a two-year sentence on corruption charges by a Sudanese court last year, and faces additional trials and investigations over the killing of protesters. He is also wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes and genocide relating to the Darfur conflict in the 2000s.

In the months after Bashir's ouster, the military and the democracy movement behind the protests established a transitional government. Authorities from the new government announced in February they would hand Bashir over to the ICC.

(Reuters, AFP, AP)

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