Ex-Sudan President Omar al-Bashir Convicted of Money Laundering, Corruption

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(Newser)

A court in Sudan convicted former President Omar al-Bashir of money laundering and corruption on Saturday, sentencing him to two years in a rehabilitation facility. That’s the first verdict in a series of legal proceedings against al-Bashir, who’s also wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes and genocide linked to the Darfur conflict in the 2000s, per the AP. The verdict comes a year after Sudanese protesters launched their revolt against al-Bashir’s authoritarian rule. During his three decades in power, Sudan landed on the US list for sponsoring terrorism, and the country’s economy has been battered by years of mismanagement and American sanctions. Al-Bashir has been in custody since April, when Sudan’s military ousted him after months of nationwide protests. The uprising eventually forced the military into a power-sharing agreement with civilians.

Under Sudanese law, al-Bashir, 75, will be sent to a state-run rehab facility for elderly people who are convicted of crimes not punishable with death. The former strongman was charged earlier this year with money laundering, after millions of US dollars, euros, and Sudanese pounds were seized in his home shortly after his ouster. Sudan’s military has said it would not extradite him to the ICC. The country’s military-civilian transitional government has so far not indicated whether they’ll hand him over to the Hague. The corruption trial is separate from charges against al-Bashir regarding the killing of protesters during the uprising. Saturday’s verdict, which capped a monthslong trial, could be appealed before a higher court.

(Read more Omar al Bashir stories.)

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