Sudan attorney general orders formation of committee to oversee corruption probe

Sudanese protestors wave signs and flags as they continue to protest outside the army complex in the capital Khartoum on April 17, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 20 April 2019
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Sudan attorney general orders formation of committee to oversee corruption probe

  • Al-Walid Sayed Ahmed had submitted a request to lift the immunity of a number of officers suspected of killing a teacher who died in custody in February
  • Protest leaders are to hold talks Saturday with Sudan’s military rulers who have so far resisted calls to transfer power to a civilian administration

CAIRO: Sudan's attorney general on Saturday ordered the formation of a committee to oversee investigations into crimes involving public funds, corruption and criminal cases related to recent events, the state news agency SUNA said, citing a statement from the attorney general.
SUNA also said that attorney general Al-Walid Sayed Ahmed had submitted a request to the director of the country's National Intelligence and Security Services to lift the immunity of a number of officers suspected of killing a teacher who died in custody in February.

Earlier on Saturday, a judicial source said that Sudan's public prosecutor has begun investigating ousted President Omar Al-Bashir on charges of money laundering and possession of large sums of foreign currency without legal grounds. 
The source said that military intelligence had searched Bashir's home and found suitcases loaded with more than $351,000 and six million euros, as well as five million Sudanese pounds.
"The chief public prosecutor... ordered the (former) president detained and quickly questioned in preparation to put him on trial," a judicial source told Reuters.
"The public prosecution will question the former president in Kobar prison," the source added.
Relatives could not be immediately reached on Saturday for comment about the investigation.
Bashir, who is also being sought by the International Criminal Court over allegations of genocide in the country's western Darfur region, was ousted on April 11 by the military following months of protests against his rule and had been held at a presidential residence.
Bashir's family said this week that the former president had been moved to the high-security Kobar prison in Khartoum.
As president Bashir often played up his humble beginnings as the child of a poor farming family in Hosh Bannaga, a small village consisting mainly of mud houses on the eastern bank of the Nile some 150 km (93 miles) north of Khartoum.
The Sudanese Professionals' Association, leading the protests, has called for holding Bashir and members of his administration to account, a purge of corruption and cronyism and easing an economic crisis that worsened during Bashir's last years in power.
On Wednesday, Sudan's transitional military council ordered the central bank to review financial transfers since April 1 and to seize "suspect" funds, according to state news agency SUNA.
The council also ordered the "suspension of the transfer of ownership of any shares until further notice and for any large or suspect transfers of shares or companies to be reported" to authorities.

Meanwhile, protest leaders are to hold talks Saturday with Sudan’s military rulers who have so far resisted calls to transfer power to a civilian administration, a head figure in the protests told AFP.
“The military council will hold talks with the Alliance for Freedom and Change at 8:00 p.m. (1800 GMT) today,” said Siddiq Yousef, a senior member of the umbrella group leading the protest movement.


Australia joins US-led mission to protect Hormuz shipping

Updated 46 min 42 sec ago
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Australia joins US-led mission to protect Hormuz shipping

  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Wednesday that Australia will contribute troops
  • An Australian warship will be redirected from an anti-piracy operation in the Middle East

CANBERRA, Australia: Australia has joined Britain and Bahrain in signing onto a US-led maritime security mission to protect international shipping in the Strait of Hormuz.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Wednesday that Australia will contribute troops, a surveillance plane and a Navy frigate to protect shipping lanes off the coast of Iran.
He says it’s a “modest, meaningful and time-limited” contribution in Australia’s national and economic interests.
At least 15 percent of crude oil and up to 30 percent of refined oil destined for Australia transits through the Arabian Gulf.
The warship will be redirected from an anti-piracy operation in the Middle East, while the Australian troops will be based in the headquarters that are coordinating the US-led maritime security mission.
Initially, Australia will be involved for at least six months.