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Sudan ousted president Omar al-Bashir received $90 million from Saudi Arabia

KHARTOUM (Sudan): A police investigator told a court that Sudan former president Omar al-Bashir received millions of dollars from Saudi Arabia.

The statement came during the trial of Bashir by a court in Sudan’s capital for alleged corruption. The trial started months after Bashir was toppled by the military in the wake of mass protests against his autocratic rule.

Al-Bashir, who is charged with illicit possession of foreign currency and accepting gifts in an unofficial manner, admitted to receiving the $90m in cash from Saudi royals, Brigadier General Ahmed Ali testified on Monday.

Nearly seven million euros ($7.8m) was found at al-Bashir’s residence, as well as smaller amounts in US dollars and Sudanese pounds, he said.

“The accused told us that the money was part of a sum of $25m sent to him by Prince Mohammed bin Salman to be used outside of the state budget,” Ali said, referring to the powerful crown prince of Saudi Arabia.

The investigator said al-Bashir had said he also received two previous payments of $35m and $30m from Saudi Arabia’s former King Abdullah, who died in 2015.

“This money was not part of the state budget and I was the one who authorised its spending,” Ali quoted al-Bashir as saying. The former president told investigators that the Saudi money was exchanged and spent but he could not remember how, according to Ali. He added that the former president did not have documents providing further details.

Al-Bashir, who was forced from office by months of protests in April, listened to the testimony without commenting as he sat in a metal cage.

He spoke at the beginning of the hearing to confirm his name and age.

When asked about his residence, the 75-year-old laughed and said, “formerly the airport district, at army headquarters but now Kobar prison,” referring to the detention complex where he sent thousands of opponents during his 30-year rule.