Sudan charges ousted dictator Bashir with 'undermining constitution' over 1989 coup

Sudan charges ousted dictator Bashir with 'undermining constitution' over 1989 coup
Sudan's ousted president Omar al-Bashir has been charged by the public prosecution with undermining the constitution over the 1989 coup.
2 min read
01 April, 2020
Sudan's ousted autocrat Omar al-Bashir has been charged over the 1989 coup [Getty]
Sudan's ousted former president Omar al-Bashir, as well as 15 militray officers and eight civilians, have been charged with undermining the constitution in the 1989 coup that brought Bashir to power.

Bashir received a letter on Tuesday from the head of the Public Prosecution Office Said al-Yazal Muhammad Sarri informing him of the decision, Arabi21 reported.

Bashir, who was overthrown by the army in April and subsequently arrested, seized power in a 1989 military coup backed by influential Islamist leader Hassan al-Turabi. In December, he was sentenced to two years in a detention centre on corruption charges.

Bashir now faces additional charges over the events of 1989. An anonymous source from the al-Bashir family told Anadolu Agency that Bashir's defence lawyers will submit an appeal on Sunday.

An investigation into the coup was launched in May, after Sudanese lawyers submitted a legal petition to Khartoum’s Attorney General accusing Bashir and his aides of "undermining the constitutional system by plotting a military coup in 1989" and then taking power.

Sudan agreed in February to hand the ousted autocrat and others to the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes in Darfur but Bashir remains in prison in Khartoum.

The Hague-based ICC has charged Bashir and three of his former aides with genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Sudan's western region during a devastating conflict from 2003.

The conflict in Darfur, the size of France, erupted when ethnic minority African rebels took up arms against Bashir's then Arab-dominated government, accusing it of marginalising the region economically and politically.

The ICC has charged Bashir with genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity for his role in the conflict. Bashir has denied the charges.

Read more: Darfuris rejoice as Sudan agrees to Bashir ICC extradition

The court has also indicted three of his former aides, Ahmed Haroon, Abdulrahim Mohamed Hussain and Ali Kushied.

Bashir was ousted by the army in a palace coup last April after months of protests against his iron-fisted rule of three decades.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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