A Sudan court on Tuesday began the trial of ousted autocrat Omar al-Bashir for leading a military coup that brought him to power 31 years ago.
Al-Bashir and 26 other defendants gave brief introductory statements at the Supreme Court in the capital, Khartoum.
A judge then rejected the defence’s appeal for a postponement, filed on the basis of Sudan’s fragile political climate and questioning the impartiality of the court.
The judge scheduled the next session for Sept. 15.
The trial was initially set to start in late July but was postponed three times, including due to lack of coronavirus precautions.
Al-Bashir is facing charges of undermining the constitution, rebellion and violating the Armed Forces Act, Al-Moez Hadra, who belongs to the group of lawyers who filed the criminal lawsuit, said.
The 76-year-old will stand trial with several co-accused, among them two of al-Bashir’s former vice presidents as well as former ministers and governors.
If convicted, al-Bashir, who is already imprisoned for corruption, could face a death sentence.
Al-Bashir came to power in 1989 after he led a military coup against democratically elected Prime Minister Sadek al-Mahdi.
He was ousted in April 2019 after months of pro-democracy protests and mass sit-ins.
Al-Bashir was convicted in late 2019 on corruption charges, but was never tried for alleged crimes against humanity committed under his 30-year rule.
The volatile nation in the Horn of Africa is currently run by a transitional government made up of military and civilian officials.