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Omar el Bashir: accused of illegally acquiring and using funds

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Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has donated 5 million euros to the paramilitary group of Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a witness said Saturday during the fourth trial of the former head of state. Abandoned by the army in April after months of demonstrations against his regime, Bashir was charged in August with illegal possession of foreign funds and fraudulent use of these funds. The authorities seized 6.9 million euros, 351,770 dollars and 5.7 million Sudanese pounds from Mr. Bashir's home. He is accused of illegally acquiring them and using and incurring more than 10 years in prison.

On August 31, Bashir told the court that these funds were a remainder of the $ 25 million donated by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. These funds “were not used for personal purposes but as gifts,” he said.

On Saturday, the defense called two witnesses, including a former adviser to Mr. Bashir, General Yasser Bashir. The latter claimed that the ousted president had given him “5 million euros” ($ 5.6 million) for the dreaded paramilitary RSF.

He added that the money had been received by Abdelrahim Daglo, brother of Mohammed Hamdan Daglo, leader of the RSF and ex-number two of the Transitional Military Council who had led the country after the fall of Bashir.

“They did not give me a receipt,” he said, adding that Mr. Bashir still kept the key to the room where the money was. “I did not have access to the room,” he continued, as the former president, 75, watched his audience in a metal cage.

The second witness, Abdelmoneim Mohamed, a representative of the African International University based in Khartoum, also said he received funds from Mr. Bashir’s office for his institution.

“The deputy director of the university gave me four million euros, saying he had received this money from the presidency,” said Mohamed. As part of a major reversal of foreign policy, Bashir sent troops to Yemen in 2015. Khartoum broke off relations with Shiite Iran and joined the military coalition led by Ryad, which supports the Yemeni regime against rebels. Shiites Houthis.

Mr. Bashir’s next hearing is scheduled for 14 September.

After his dismissal, a Sovereign Council supposed to ensure the transition to a civilian power was formed at the end of August in Sudan and a new government was created on September 5th.

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