Sudan: Attorney General expects death penalty for islamist coup plotters

Nairobi - Sudan's attorney general said today he expected 72 men charged with attempting a coup in Khartoum would be sentenced to death because the evidence against them was so clear.

A number of the men are members of the opposition Islamist Popular Congress (PCP), whose leader Hassan al-Turabi was jailed last September after the authorities accused his party of plotting to overthrow the government.

Attorney-General Mohamed Farid said Turabi would be released with all other political prisoners as soon as emergency law was lifted in Sudan, a step officials expect to follow the promulgation of a new constitution around May.

Farid said the 72 men, whose full trial will begin on April 2, had confessed to a legal committee in his office to plotting to overthrow the government. The men are charged with waging war against the state.

"I expect that in these cases there is clear enough evidence and I expect that the death sentence will be issued for them," Farid said.

Meanwhile, Sudan described as "responsible and brave" the statement of the British Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, who retracted an earlier statement in which he had accused the Sudanese government of bombing a village in Darfur region.

A statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said the step taken by Straw was a clear indications that the world community had come to terms with the realities in Darfur.

Straw's statement had a direct impact on the meetings of the AU Summit in Abuja to the effect that some African and international leaders including the UN Secretary General reacted by condemning Sudan Government without substantive proof.

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Source: The East African Standard (Kenya), Ken Ramani |http://www.nationaudio.com/News/EastAfrican/Current/index.htm

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