At a court martial in Khartoum on Wednesday, August 5, Sudan's Advocate-General accused Israel of having helped to train and supply secessionist rebels fighting in Sudan's southern provinces.
GV EXT Court
SV Armed guard at gate
SV Crowds at railing
SV Armed soldier PAN TO armoured vehicle outside courthouse
SV INT Steiner (shaved head) enters and sits down
MCU Steiner talks to defence counsel
STV Court rises and sits as military judges enter & take seats (3 shots)
SCU Steiner listens to translation of proceedings through earphones
SV Steiner takes notes
CU Steiner removes earphones
GV Judges rise to leave court
SV Steiner leaves court under armed guard; into armoured vehicle and away (3 shots)
Initials BB/0100 SG/BOB/BB/0130
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: At a court martial in Khartoum on Wednesday, August 5, Sudan's Advocate-General accused Israel of having helped to train and supply secessionist rebels fighting in Sudan's southern provinces. The charges were made at the opening of the case against West German mercenary Rolf Steiner. He is accused of leading a guerrilla war against the Sudanese government. The prosecution said that Israel took an active part in plans against government forces and civilians in the south. It was further charged that israel conducted operations to lay mines in the Nile and dropped food and other supplies to the secessionists. Steiner faces a possible death penalty if convicted. He has denied the allegations.
SYNOPSIS: A heavy guard was placed around this court in Khartoum on Wednesday as West German mercenary, Rolf steiner, went on trial accused of leading rebels in southern Sudan against the central government.
The forty-year old Steiner, who has fought as a mercenary in the Congo and Nigeria, was handed over to the Sudanese authorities seven months ago by Uganda. He has denied charges of leading guerrillas in the secessionist rebellion, spreading malicious rumours, inciting southerners against the Khartoum government and obtaining weapons to wage war.
The six-man military court heard Sudan's Advocate-General open the case against Steiner. Khalafalla El-Rasheed accused the United States and Israel of tampering with the interests of newly-developed African nations. The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, he said, operated closely with British intelligence in Africa and maintained close contacts with the Sudanese rebels. israel, mr. El-Rasheed said, conducted operations to lay mines in the Nile, dropped food and other supplies to the secessionist forces, and gave the radios to get in touch with Israeli military men.
The court heard Mr. El-Rasheed say that Steiner first contacted the rebels through an official of the Catholic Caritas International Organisation, and entered sudan in 1969 with a false West German passport--furnished by the Frank-furt-based Society for the Support of Africa. Wednesday's proceedings were adjourned until Saturday. Steines faces a possible death penalty if convicted by the court.