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Bashir Appears in Public for 1st Time Since Ouster

Bashir Appears in Public for 1st Time Since Ouster

Sunday, 16 June, 2019 - 17:15
Asharq Al-Awsat
Sudan's former President Omar al-Bashir appeared in public on Sunday for the first time since he was overthrown in April, as he was led away to a prosecutor's office in a corruption probe.

Bashir has been held under arrest in the capital, Khartoum, since the military removed him from power amid mass protests against his 30-year rule.

A judicial official with the prosecutor's office said Bashir was being questioned over corruption accusations that include money laundering and the possession of large amounts of foreign currency without legal grounds.

He said the probe partly related to millions of dollars worth of cash in US dollars, euros and Sudanese pounds that were found in Bashir's home a week after his ouster.

Prosecutor Alaeddin Dafallah told reporters after Bashir left the office that the ousted president had been informed that he was facing charges of "possessing foreign currency, corruption and receiving gifts illegally."

A spokesman with the military's media office confirmed that this is the first time the former president was taken out from his prison in Khartoum.

In May, Bashir was charged with involvement in killing protesters and incitement to kill protesters during the popular uprising that started in December, initially over the prices rises of basic goods and a failing economy, but which later turned into calls for his ouster. The military toppled him on April 11.

Meanwhile, the deputy head of Sudan's ruling military council said on Sunday that demands from protester leaders for the composition of a transitional legislative body might not be acceptable.

After removing Bashir from power, the military has been locked in a tense standoff with a protest movement over who should lead the country's transition.

Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo told a gathering of pro-military supporters in the capital on Sunday that "our problem is a non-elected legislative body which would root out all of us."

He said that a legislative body formed with a majority from protest movement leaders, who are demanding civilian rule, is a problem because it is not formed by elections.

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