Omar al-Bashir: Sudan ex-leader sentenced for corruption


Former president of Sudan Omar al-Bashir, sitting in a cage during his sentencingImage copyright
Reuters

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Omar al-Bashir sat in a cage as he was sentenced for corruption

Sudan’s ex-president Omar al-Bashir has been sentenced to two years in a social reform facility for corruption.

The judge told the court that, under Sudanese law, people over the age of 70 cannot serve jail terms. Bashir is 75.

Bashir also faces charges related to the 1989 coup that brought him to power, genocide, and the killing of protesters before his ousting in April.

During the sentencing, his supporters started chanting that the trial was “political” and were ordered to leave.

They continued their protest outside the court, chanting: “There is no god but God.”

Afterwards one of the ousted leader’s lawyers, Ahmed Ibrahim, said they would appeal against the verdict.

Mohamed al-Hassan, another lawyer for Bashir, previously said that the defence did not consider the trial a legal one but a “political” one.

It is unclear whether Bashir will be tried over widespread human rights abuses during his time in power, including allegations of war crimes in Darfur.

Image copyright
AFP

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Supporters of Bashir chanted in protest outside the courtroom

The corruption case was linked to a $25 million (£19 million) cash payment he received from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Bashir claimed the payments were made as part of Sudan’s strategic relationship with Saudi Arabia, and were “not used for private interests but as donations”.

None of the active cases against Bashir in Sudan are linked to the charges he faces at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, linked to the conflict in Darfur that broke out in 2003.

The UN says that around 300,000 people were killed and 2.5 million were displaced in the war.

After Bashir was ousted in April, ICC prosecutors in The Hague requested that he stand trial over the Darfur killings.

The Sudanese army generals who seized power immediately after his fall initially refused to comply, but Sudan’s umbrella protest movement – which now has significant representation in the country’s sovereign council – recently said it would not object to his extradition.

Prosecutors in Sudan have also charged him with the killing of protesters during the demonstrations that led to him being ousted.



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Chinese Woman Convicted Of Trespassing At Mar-A-Lago Sentenced To 8 Months In Jail : NPR


Yujing Zhang, who was arrested after unlawfully entering President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, repeatedly changed her story for visiting the club.

Lynne Sladky/AP


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Yujing Zhang, who was arrested after unlawfully entering President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, repeatedly changed her story for visiting the club.

Lynne Sladky/AP

A Shanghai businesswoman who was convicted of unlawfully entering President Trump’s private Mar-a-Lago resort while carrying a bag full of electronics is headed to jail for eight months.

Yujing Zhang, 33, was convicted of trespassing at Trump’s Florida club and lying to federal agents.

Zhang’s bizarre trial, in which she chose to represent herself, lasted all of two days before she was found guilty on both counts.

Throughout the brief proceedings she often appeared confused and distracted, shuffling through stacks of papers and taking long pauses before responding to questions.

Zhang’s grasp of the English language remained unclear although U.S. District Judge Roy Altman believed she understood much more than she let on.

“I know full well that you understand what I am saying to you both in English and in Mandarin,” the AP quoted Altman during an August hearing, “You are trying to play games.”

When she was arrested in March, there was speculation Zhang might be a foreign spy. She was found carrying two passports, four mobile phones, a laptop computer, an external hard drive and a thumb drive. Investigators found more electronics in her hotel room along with about $8,000 in cash, according to the complaint filed against her. But Zhang was never charged with espionage.

She has maintained her innocence, telling jurors during a brief closing statement, “I followed the instruction. I went into the Mar-a-Lago to have a visit. So that’s what I want to say, and thank you for your attention.”

She will be deported after serving her jail sentence.



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Woman who ‘milkshaked’ Republican politician sentenced to 15 days in jail


The woman who ‘milkshaked’ Republican politician Matt Gaetz in June was sentenced to 15 days in jail on Monday.

On June 6, 2019, Gaetz was leaving a town hall event in Florida when he was hit with a sports drink that was lobbed over the crowd.

Amanda Kondrat’yev was later charged with battery in relation to the incident.

According to NBC News, she was holding a sign that read, “Gaetz – wipe the blood from your hands, A+ rating – NRA, save our kids vote Gaetz out in 2020.”

Gaetz, a Florida congressman known for defending U.S. President Donald Trump in television interviews and for fighting against Trump’s impeachment inquiry, said he pressed charges to discourage similar offences.

“What if it’s a member of my staff? What if instead of a drink, it’s acid or urine?” he said, according to The Hill.

Kondrat’yev ran unsuccessfully against Gaetz in the 2016 election as a Democrat. In August, she pleaded guilty to assault on a member of Congress and was sentenced to 15 days in federal custody and ordered to pay a $500 fine.

The trend of ‘milkshaking’ — throwing a cup of liquid, usually a thick milkshake, at predominantly right-wing politicians — began in Britain earlier this year, when prominent politicians such as Nigel Farage and Tommy Robinson were targeted.

Thought the red drink thrown at Gaetz wasn’t a milkshake, it appeared to be the first time ‘milkshaking’ was used in the United States.

After the sentencing, Kondrat’yev tweeted, “Not ideal, but I will survive.”

Before the sentencing, Gaetz, who attended the hearing, said “only incarceration allows me to reinforce to my supporters and opponents alike that Free Speech is welcomed — but assault will not be tolerated.”

Once Kondrat’yev was sentenced, Gaetz released a statement saying he was pleased with the court’s decision and pledged to keep a safe environment for his supporters at future events.

“Physical assault has no place in our political discourse, and if individuals choose to engage in such activities at our events they will be prosecuted.”





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