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KHARTOUM - 24 Aug 2019

Bashir's lawyers seek release on bail as trial continues

Photo: Sudan’s former president Omar al-Bashir
Photo: Sudan’s former president Omar al-Bashir

The defense team for Sudan’s former president Omar al-Bashir asked for his release on bail as his trial on graft charges continues.

“We have requested today that he be released on bail because this is an ordinary case,” al-Bashir's lawyer Ahmed Ibrahim al-Tahir told reporters in Khartoum on Saturday.

“We hope that the request would be considered by the judge. We are also going to request another meeting with the accused because he is in the Kober prison,” he added.

The former Sudanese leader is facing charges related to "possessing foreign currency, corruption and receiving gifts illegally".

Al-Bashir admitted receiving millions of dollars from Saudi Arabia, a police investigator told the court on Monday.

Al-Tahir disclosed that the judge today heard three witnesses who searched al-Bashir's residence after his removal from power by the military in April.

He added that two more prosecution witnesses will come before the defense team begins its case. The trial is set to resume on August 31, according to the lawyer.

Al-Tahir, a former speaker of the national legislative assembly, said a team of more than 130 defense lawyers will present evidence refuting the prosecution's claims.

After the court hearing, as a security convoy escorted the 75-year-old Bashir back to prison, two opposing groups staged protests. A smaller group had gathered in support of the former president, while other protesters were chanting slogans for Bashir to face justice.

Mr Bashir, who was ousted by the military in April following months of protests against his 30-year rule, is wanted by the International Criminal Court over his role in war crimes in Darfur region.

Sudan's senior military generals have refused to extradite Bashir.