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.

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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.