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Sudan: Second judge in Bashir's trial resigns

A general view of the trial of Sudanese former President Omar al-Bashir over the 1989 coup that brought him to power, at the Officer Training Institute, in Khartoum, Sudan on 15 June 2021. [Mahmoud Hjaj - Anadolu Agency]
A general view of the trial of Sudanese former President Omar al-Bashir over the 1989 coup that brought him to power, at the Officer Training Institute, in Khartoum, Sudan on 15 June 2021. [Mahmoud Hjaj - Anadolu Agency]

The judge hearing the case against ousted Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir asked to be removed from the trial on Tuesday.

Judge Ahmed Ali Ahmed asked to be excused from pursuing the case and adjourned the hearing to 10 August until the issuance of a decision regarding his request.

The Sudan News Agency (SUNA) reported that Judge Ahmed explained that he was adjourning the session to give Chief Justice, Abdul Aziz Fateh Al-Rahman, enough time to decide on the request to be removed from his position, or he will resume his duty during the next session.

This is not the first time a judge in the case has asked to be removed from the trial. On 22 December 2020, Judge Essam El-Din Mohamed Ibrahim announced that he was stepping down due to his health conditions.

Head of the defence team in the case, Kamal Omar, told Anadolu Agency that Judge Ahmed had asked to be removed from the case following pressures he was subjected to from the board of indictment.

In light of the successive resignations submitted by judges, the most prominent question to ask now is what fate will the trial proceedings face?

READ: Sudan inflation rate soars to 412% in June

In this regard, Tarek Kandik, lawyer and member of the board of indictment, stated that this trial will remain under the jurisdiction of the Sudanese judiciary, which will inevitably assign a new judge to initiate court procedures, despite the political squabbles surrounding it.

He asserted: "We are reassured that the judicial authority will handle the trial with the necessary responsibility to ensure its continuity to the end."

On the other hand, Omar considered that "the future of the court in light of the repeated resignation of the judges, the ongoing bickering between the board of indictment and the defence team, and the interference of a political side in the issue of candidacy for the position of Chief Justice will result in a distorted trying process that lacks the elements of a fair trial."

Al-Bashir's trial began on 21 July 2020 on charges that he plotted a coup in 1989 and undermined the constitutional ruling system. Charges he denies.

On 30 June 1989, Al-Bashir carried out a military coup against the government of Prime Minister Sadiq Al-Mahdi and presided over the Leadership Council of what was known as the National Salvation Revolution; he later became president of Sudan.

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