8th August 2020
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Sudan tries Bashir for 1989 coup

Author: Obaj Okuj | Published: Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Omar al-Bashir, ex-Sudanese President | Credit | File photo

Sudan has begun the trial of the former President Omar al-Bashir for crimes related to his ascension to power in 1989.

Bashir is being charged before a special court in Khartoum for leading the bloodless coup that brought him to power over 30 years ago.

As a colonel in the Sudanese Army, al-Bashir led a group of army officers in ousting the elected coalition government of then Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi on 30 June 1989.

After taking power, al-Bashir suspended political parties and introduced an Islamic legal code on the national level.

He then assumed the posts of chief of state, prime minister, chief of the armed forces, and Minister of Defence.

But in 1993, al-Bashir’s powers increased when he appointed himself President of the country and limited activities of all rival political parties.

He was then elected president for a five-year term in the 1996 national election.

Now at 76-year-old, Omer al-Bashir was removed by the army following months of civilians protests over prices of food items and calls for reforms in Sudan.

He was sentenced to jail for corruption and other malpractices while in office.

This morning, the special court in the Sudanese capital started the trial of al-Bashir on charges of undermining the constitutional order and overthrowing an elected civilian government.

Among those charged with him are 15 officers from the armed forces and 8 former Islamic leaders.

The accused include Ali Osman Mohamed Taha, Abd al-Rahim Muhammad Hussain, Ali al-Hajj, Awad Ahmed al-Jaz and Ibrahim al-Senussi.

According to prosecutors, this is the first case of its kind against Bashir.

If convicted over his 1989 coup against the democratically elected government, he could face a death penalty.

The Sudanese Criminal Law of 1983 punishes any acts that undermine a constitutional system or participation in the criminal act.

The court adjourned the trial due to the absence of some of the defendants of the 1989 coup.

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