Al-Bashir gets two years for corruption

Sudan's ousted president Omar al-Bashir has been convicted of money laundering and corruption.
Sudan's ousted president Omar al-Bashir has been convicted of money laundering and corruption.

Former Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir has been convicted of money laundering and corruption and sentenced to two years in a minimum security lockup.

The verdict in Sudan is the first in a series of legal proceedings against al-Bashir, who is also wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes and genocide linked to the Darfur conflict in the 2000s.

The verdict comes a year after Sudanese protesters erupted in revolt against al-Bashir's authoritarian rule.

During his three decades in power, Sudan landed on the US list for sponsoring terrorism, and the country's economy was battered by years of mismanagement and American sanctions.

Al-Bashir, 75, has been in custody since April, when Sudan's military ousted him after months of nationwide protests.

The uprising eventually forced the military into a power-sharing agreement with civilians.

The former strongman appeared in the defendant's cage on Saturday wearing a traditional white robe and turban.

As the verdict was read, a handful of al-Bashir's supporters briefly disrupted the proceedings, shouting Islamist slogans before being pushed out of the courtroom by security forces.

The Sudanese Professionals' Association, which was the backbone of the protest movement, hailed the verdict as a "moral and political conviction" against the former president and his regime.

Defence lawyer Mohammed al-Hassan said Saturday's verdict was expected and that an appeal would be filed before a higher court, adding that the ex-president's "morale is high".

Australian Associated Press