Sudan Begins Trial of Opposition Head Accused of Spurring Unrest

Sudan began the criminal trial of an 82-year-old opposition leader and a human-rights activist accused of instigating violence in the North African nation.

Farouk Abu Eissa, the head of a coalition of opposition groups, and Amin Mekki Madani, 76, also face charges of undermining the country’s constitution, Nabil Adib, a member of their defense team, said by phone from Sudan’s capital, Khartoum. Both deny the charges, Adib said. The two were arrested in early December after returning from Ethiopia, where they reportedly signed a joint declaration with Sudanese rebels and civilian opposition groups.

The court rejected a request to consider Abu Eissa and Madani’s age and release them on bail, adjourning proceedings until March 2, Adib said.

Sudanese Information Minister Ahmed Bilal Osman said the trial wasn’t politically motivated. President Umar al-Bashir has shown “goodwill” with regards to a request by political parties to pardon Abu Eissa, Osman said by phone from Khartoum.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.