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Sudan President Accused of Hiding Billions of Dollars

Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir (file photo)
Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir (file photo)

The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor says he has evidence Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has stolen billions of dollars from his country.

Luis Moreno-Ocampo made the statement Saturday after the corruption allegation appeared in Britain's Guardian newspaper.

The report was based on a U.S. diplomatic cable provided by the Wikileaks website. The cable cites Moreno-Ocampo as saying Mr. Bashir has stashed away $9 billion, possibly in Lloyds Bank of London.

It says the prosecutor believes Mr. Bashir's popularity would suffer if the public learns of his alleged wealth.

Sudanese officials say Moreno-Ocampo's accusation is false and is part of an effort to discredit Mr. Bashir. The ICC has charged the Sudanese leader with masterminding war crimes and genocide in Sudan's Darfur region.

The court has issued international warrants for Mr. Bashir's arrest, which the Sudanese has flouted with repeated trips abroad.

Meanwhile, Lloyds Bank says it has "absolutely no evidence" to suggest it has a connection with Mr. Bashir.