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Last Updated: Saturday, 14 May, 2005, 23:57 GMT 00:57 UK
Sudanese jailed for coup attempt
By Jonah Fisher
BBC News, Khartoum

A Sudanese court has given jail sentences to 28 men for their role in a failed coup attempt.

The men have been sentenced for up to 15 years in prison for attempting to seize power at the end of September last year.

Sudan's government claims an Islamist political party was behind the coup, an accusation the party has denied.

The judge presiding over the trial said the men had been spared the death penalty because they were politicians.

Trial criticism

The Sudanese government has always maintained that the Islamist Popular Congress Party was behind the coup attempt.

But it is unclear how many of the defendants were members.

Eighty-one men were put on trial but all but the 28 were acquitted and released.

Lawyers for the defendants said the proceedings had been flawed, and that confessions had been obtained through torture.

The leader of the Popular Congress Party and former senior government figure, Hassan al-Turabi, has been detained without charge since March last year.

He has been accused of backing another coup attempt, but is expected to be released soon when Sudan's state of emergency is lifted.




SEE ALSO:
Charges over Sudan 'coup plot'
30 Sep 04 |  Africa
Country profile: Sudan
15 Sep 03 |  Country profiles


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