- A Sudanese court has condemned nine rebels to death today for their involvement in the May 2008 attack in Sudan’s capital Khartoum that killed more than 220 civilians. The latest sentencing has raised the number to 91 of the members of Justice and Equality Movement sentenced to death.
According to local reports, two other men were acquitted and another was given a five-year sentence for having given the other accused a place to hide.
Judge Awkesha Mohammed Awkesha found the nine men guilty of terrorism, murder and destroying public property during the unprecedented attack on the capital's twin city of Omdurman in last year.
The rebels had traveled for more than 1,000 kilometers from conflict-torn Darfur in western Sudan to Omdurman, just across the Nile from the presidential palace, which was the closest attack to presidential palace since the Darfur conflict started six years ago.
Special tribunals set up in the wake of the attack have been judging the alleged rebels in batches over the last few weeks, usually handing out sentences around 10 years to death at a time.
The defense lawyers for the accused have argued that the special courts are unconstitutional and have not guaranteed their clients legal rights, also vowing to appeal the death sentences.
Under the Sudanese law, any death sentence must be ratified by an appeal court and the high court. All death warrants must then be signed and approved by President Omar al-Beshir, who is also facing a warrant of arrest by the International court issued in March this year.
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