A Sudanese court on Saturday convicted former president Omar al-Bashir on corruption charges and sentenced him to two years of detention in a reform facility, the first ruling against the ex-leader ousted by mass unrest.
The presiding judge said Bashir, 75, who was deposed by the military in April following months of street protests against his three-decade rule, was being sent to the reform facility, rather than a prison, on account of his age.
He also ordered the confiscation of millions of euros and Sudanese pounds found in Bashir’s residence when he was toppled.
Bashir’s prosecution is a test of how fast and how far military and civilian authorities now sharing power in Sudan will act to overturn his legacy.
Ahead of Saturday’s verdict, hundreds of supporters of the Islamist ex-president gathered in streets near the presidential palace in the capital Khartoum.
Troops and military vehicles were deployed in the area, blocking access to the palace and the Defence Ministry, and there was a heavy security presence at the court.
Bashir also wanted by the International Criminal Court, which issued arrest warrants against him in 2009 and 2010 on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sudan’s restive Darfur region.
Dressed in traditional white robes and a turban, Bashir watched silently from inside a metal defendant’s cage while the judge, Al-Sadiq Abdelrahman, read out the verdict on Saturday.
“The convict, Omar al-Bashir, is consigned to a social reform facility for a period of two years..The sums of foreign and national currency that were seized are confiscated,” Abdelrahman said.