Omar Bashir was the only one with a key to a room with illegal money –Witness

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Sudan’s ousted President Omar al-Bashir had sole access to the Presidential Palace room where millions in local and foreign currency were found, a defense witness and former head of the President’s Office said at the deposed leader’s latest court hearing on Saturday.
Bashir, who was ousted in a military coup in April following a lengthy popular uprising, is facing charges of corruption and illegal possession of foreign currency.
Millions of euros and Sudanese pounds were found at Bashir’s residence in April, a judicial source said.



Speaking at Bashir’s trial on charges of possessing illicit foreign currency and corruption, Yasser Basheer said the former president gave him more than 10 million euros’ ($11 million) cash in his final months of rule for delivery to different parties.
The former manager, who worked for Bashir from September 2018 and was speaking as a defense witness, said the president once gave him 5 million euros for Abdelrahim Hamdan Dagalo, deputy head of the feared paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).



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Other recipients of cash included the Defense Ministry, plus military personnel and civilians for medical treatment, Basheer said, adding that he did not know the source of the cash and was only following orders.
Abdelmoneim Mohamed, an accountant at the International University of Africa, a private institution with links to Islamists, also testified in Bashir’s defense. He said the university’s director and deputy director received 4 million euros in cash from Bashir.




The witness provided the court with the receipts of all the funds except the 5 million euros to Dagalo’s brother.
Bashir sat in a metal cage in the courtroom wearing traditional white robes and turban.
Though he did not speak at Saturday’s hearing, he denied the charges when formally indicted a week ago.
Speaking publicly for the first time since his ouster, Bashir said last week he had received $25 million from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as well as from other sources, but had not received or used money for his own benefit.



“I used the money for private donations to various parties,” including medical services, a university, an Islamic media channel, and urgent fuel provision, he said.
The charges carry maximum prison sentences of around 10 years. The next hearing is set for Sept. 14. The former Sudanese president has been imprisoned in the same notorious Khartoum jail where generations of political dissidents were held under his three-decade rule.

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