Coup Leaders Stand Trial, First Of Its Kind In Sudan History

Coup Leaders Stand Trial, First Of Its Kind In Sudan History

By: Mohamed Osman Adam

KHARTOUM  (Sudanow) – For once in Sudan’s history filled with coups and countercoups, the cycle is now facing a challenge as deposed President Omar Bashir and his cliques in the 1989 coup d’état are standing trial for undermining and uprooting a democratically elected government.

“This historic trial for June 30 1989 authors is the first step in the state of law, the state of institutions and justice in the country,” Said Muawiya Khider, leading prosecution lawyer in the trial of Omar Bashir on Tuesday. 

One of the demands by the youth who pressed through peaceful demonstration albeit surrendering hundreds of victims, ending 30 years of iron fist autocratic rule, was trial of those involved in the rule of President Bashir’s military government, restoration of democracy and freedoms.

Lawyer, Muawiya Khider, underlined that the trial of leading figures of the defunct regime affirms the start of the implementation of the motto of the revolution, “peace, freedom and justice”.

“Today,” he said after the procedural session in Khartoum, “the doors of justice are widely open to try those who undermined the constitution and democracy”.

Among those tried for undermining the constitution and staging a coup against an elected government, is long time serving ministers of defense, including Bashir’s strong man, General Bakri Hassan Salih, General Abdul Rahim Mohamed Hussein, veteran Islamist Ali Osman Mohamed Taha, who served in many posts including foreign Minister, vice president, first vice president and led Sudanese peace talks that ended with the south gaining independence in 2011.

The defendants face charges related to undermining the constitutional system, a charge tried under  Article 96, of the 1983 Sudanese Criminal procedural Law , and Article 78 of the same law, the participation in the criminal act and thus they face up to capital punishment. 

But lawyer Mohammed Al-Hassan Al-Amin, once a parliament speaker under Bashir’s rule and member of the defense council of the defendant, said he believed the trial was “politically motivated”. He said there shouldn’t be a trial in the first place as the coup occurred thirty years ago and that Bashir was worldwide recognized as president of the Sudan before he was dethroned last year.

The session was lifted following the procedural opening remarks and formalities and the second session will take place next month, after the Muslim Eid Adha.




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