Deposed Sudan President Omar al Bashir, already on trial over economic crimes during his 30-year reign, faces a possible death sentence over his role in the 1989 coup that removed the democratically elected government of Sadiq al-Mahdi from power.

During a busy week where he has tried to build confidence in the judiciary following the ouster of Mr al-Bashir in April, Attorney General Taj AlSir AlHeabr said he had formed a committee to investigate the June 30, 1989 military putsch which was led by Mr al-Bashir.

The committee’s findings will form the basis of prosecution of the Islamic Movement’s leaders, including civilians and military personnel, for undermining the constitutional system. The charge has no limitation for time lapses and is punishable by death or life imprisonment.

“The committee has the competencies of public prosecution of military coup perpetrators,” Mr AlHeabr said. It is empowered to call any person to help with investigations and will report back in three months.

The attorney general said he hoped the findings would lay down a marker against forceful take-over of government that has characterised Sudan’s politics. The first coup happened in 1958 just two years after independence when Ibrahim Abboud usurped power.

He was dethroned by Jaafar Numeiri in 1969 who later suffered the same fate at the hands of Mr al-Bashir.

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