Sudan‘s public prosecutor has begun investigating deposed President Omar al-Bashir on charges of money laundering and possession of large sums of foreign currency without legal grounds, a judicial source told Reuters news agency on Saturday.
The source said that military intelligence had searched al-Bashir’s home and found suitcases loaded with more than $351,000 and six million euros ($6.75m), as well as five million Sudanese pounds ($104,837).
“The chief public prosecutor… ordered the [former] president detained and quickly questioned in preparation to put him on trial,” the judicial source told Reuters.
“The public prosecution will question the former president in Kobar prison,” the source added.
Relatives could not be immediately reached on Saturday for comment about the investigation.
Al-Bashir, who is also being sought by the International Criminal Court over allegations of genocide in the country’s western Darfur region, was removed on April 11 by the military following months of protests against his rule and had been held at a presidential residence.
Al-Bashir’s family said this week that the former president had been moved to the high-security Kobar prison in Khartoum.
As president, al-Bashir often played up his humble beginnings as the child of a poor farming family in Hosh Bannaga, a small village consisting mainly of mud houses on the eastern bank of the Nile some 150km north of Khartoum.
The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), which has been leading the protests, has called for holding al-Bashir and the members of his administration to account, a purge of corruption and cronyism and easing an economic crisis that worsened during al-Bashir’s last years in power.
On Wednesday, Sudan’s transitional military council ordered the central bank to review financial transfers since April 1 and to seize “suspect” funds, according to state news agency SUNA.
The council also ordered the “suspension of the transfer of ownership of any shares until further notice and for any large or suspect transfers of shares or companies to be reported” to authorities.
Meanwhile, there is also growing pressure on the military council to hand over power to a civilian government.
The chairman of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, is meeting leaders of the council in Khartoum on Saturday.
Al Jazeera’s Hiba Morgan, reporting from the Sudanese capital said: “This is not the first time he’s meeting part of the council at least. They also met on Tuesday and discussed the latest developments in Sudan.”
“The African Union Commission has been very clear since the military council took over from President al-Bashir that they do not agree with the military takeover and they’re saying that unless the military council hands over power to an independent civilian transitional government, then the revolution of the people will be incomplete and Sudan would risk losing its membership in the African Union,” she added.
Al Jazeera and news agencies