Former Sudan President, Omar al-Bashir has been formally indicted by a Sudanese court for the possession of illicit foreign currency and corruption charges.
Al-Bashir said that he had gotten $25 million from Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, as well as funds from other sources, but that he had not received or used the money for his own personal gain.
A bail request was denied and a decision on the duration of Al-Bashir’s detention would be taken at a hearing on Sept. 7. The judge maintained that the Foreign currency held by Al-Bashir was illicit and had been illegally transferred. Millions of euros and Sudanese pounds were found at Al-Bashir’s residence in April when he was ousted and arrested.
Al-Bashir’s trial is seen as a litmus test for the new leaders of Sudan under the power sharing agreement between military and civilian authorities.
Al-Bashir, who appeared in traditional white robes said his former office manager had received a message from Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s office that a sum of money in euros worth $25 million would be sent for “extra-budgetary needs”.
“It was not possible to present the money to the ministry of finance or the central bank because that would have required clarifying the source of the funds, and the Saudi prince asked that his name should not appear. I used the money for private donations to various parties, including medical services, a university, an Islamic media channel, and the urgent provision of petroleum products” said Al-Bashir.
Al-Bashir however could not give a specific date for the transfer as the charges against Al-Bashir carry a maximum prison sentence of around 10 years.
Bashir was charged in May with incitement and involvement in the killing of protesters. The International Criminal Court in The Hague issued arrest warrants against him in 2009 and 2010 on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide in Sudan’s Darfur region.