Sudan's deposed military president Omar al-Bashir in a defendant's cage during his corruption trial at a court in Khartoum on December 14, 2019.
Khartoum, Sudan CNN  — 

The trial of deposed Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir started in Khartoum on Tuesday over his role in the 1989 coup d’etat that propelled him to power. He faces a maximum sentence of death.

Amid tight security measures, Bashir, 76, appeared wearing a face mask in the procedural session which was broadcast live on state-run Sudan TV.

Tuesday’s proceedings were adjourned to August 11 by presiding Judge Essam El-dein Mohamad Ibrahim.

Twenty-seven other prominent Islamic, civilian and military leaders from Bashir’s regime are also facing charges of “a coup against a constitutional system.”

Only 16 defendants were present on Tuesday, according to Sudan TV, including Bashir, and his two former deputies, Ali Othman Mohammad Taha and Bakri Hassan Saleh.

Bashir is already serving a two-year sentence at a correctional facility on convictions of corruption and illegal possession of foreign currency. He was jailed last year following months of protests and a pro-democracy uprising that brought his repressive three-decade rule to an end.

During Tuesday’s session, defense lawyers asked to adjourn to a later date as the conditions set by the World Health Organization for coronavirus social distancing were not in place inside the court.

One lawyer asked the court to take into consideration social distancing for the defendants and the attendees in the courtroom, which the judge accepted for future dates.

Separately, Bashir faces five counts of crimes against humanity and two counts of war crimes at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague over Sudan’s military campaign in Darfur between 2003 and 2008, in which an estimated 300,000 people were killed, according to the UN. In February, the Sudanese government said Bashir would appear before the ICC to face those charges.

Yassir Abdullah reported from Khartoum, Kareem Khadder reported from Jerusalem, Hamdi Alkhshali reported from Atlanta and Angela Dewan wrote from London.