The trial of former President Omar al-Bashir opened on Tuesday 21 July in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum. He is being prosecuted for seizing power in a coup 31 years ago, on 30 June 1989. Omar al-Bashir was appearing for the first time alongside 27 co-defendants. But the hearing lasted only one hour and was postponed to 11 August due to lack of space in the courtroom.
Omar al-Bashir, 76, appeared on Tuesday morning, July 21, wearing beige pants and a beige shirt, wearing a mask and gloves, a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic. He did not make any statement when he arrived at the court where his new trial began.
The majority of the inmates wore the traditional white habit. All were grouped together in cages. Among them were military and civilians, former ministers, former vice-presidents such as Ali Osman Taha or General Bakri Hassan Saleh. All are accused of having participated in the coup d’état that overthrew the government of Sadek el-Madhi on 30 June 1989 and installed Omar el Bachir, head of state, government and armies.
The session lasted only one hour, as the room could not accommodate the 191 defense lawyers. The trial was postponed to 11 August. In addition to this coup trial – and the corruption trial for which he was sentenced to two years in prison on 14 December 2019 – Omar al-Bashir is the subject of two other trials: the trial for the suppression of the demonstrations that led to his downfall last year, and the International Criminal Court (ICC) trial for genocide in Darfur.