Sudan: Al Bashir 1989 Coup Trial Adjourned - Chief Justice to Consider Judge Recusal

Khartoum — Judge Ahmed Ali Ahmed, who presides over the court trying deposed former president Omar Al Bashir and 27 former officials for the 1989 coup that swept the regime to power, today presented a recusal request to Sudan's Chief Justice and adjourned today's session of the trial to August 10.

The judge explained that he decided to adjourn the trial session for a period of two weeks to give the Chief Justice enough time to decide on the recusal request. In previous sessions of the trial the prosecution panel requested the Acting Chief Justice to recuse the judge.

In July, the court decided to proceed with its sessions, in spite of a pending application to the Chief Justice by the prosecution to recuse the Judge from hearing the case, in which it challenged the court's ability to achieve justice in this case.

The last session was in fact adjourned on the grounds that there was no technician present to allow the prosecution to present audio-visual evidence.

In May, the court heard a detailed list of those involved in the plot in testimony from one of the co-accused, when retired Col Hashim Omar Breeqa, referred to as 'accused No. 28', named former vice president Ali Osman Taha, Hassan El Turabi, Awad El Jaz and others among his co-accused, in a sitting of the court presided over by Supreme Court Judge Ahmed Ali Ahmed.

The trial of deposed former president Omar Al Bashir and 27 former officials, including former vice presidents Ali Osman Taha and Bakri Hasan Saleh, began in July 2020 for their alleged part in the 1989 military coup that brought the Al Bashir regime to power.

Al Bashir, who ruled the country for 30 years and was deposed by a military coup on April 11, 2019, was convicted on charges of corruption and currency irregularities in December 2019. He was sentenced to two years in a 'correctional facility' designed for older prisoners.

Al Bashir has also been charged with incitement and involvement in the killing of demonstrators during the protests that led to his removal from power. In December he was questioned about his role in the 1989 coup that brought him to power.

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