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Sudan ex-intelligence boss faces coup charges: lawyer

File picture shows Salah Gosh, Sudan's former intelligence chief, giving a speech during a mass wedding in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on November 13, 2010. Gosh has been charged with plotting against the state and could face the death penalty, his lawyer said on Monday as he tries to get the charges withdrawn.AFP/File

Sudan's once-powerful intelligence chief has been charged with plotting against the state and could face the death penalty, his lawyer said on Monday as he tries to get the charges withdrawn.

Salah Gosh has been detained since November in connection with the alleged coup plot against the 24-year regime of President Omar al-Bashir.

Gosh was charged several days ago under the criminal code and anti-terrorism law for his alleged role in the conspiracy, the lawyer, Ali Al-Saeed, told AFP.

"We believe he is not guilty of all these charges," said Al-Saeed.

He is seeking to have the charges thrown out before the case goes to trial.

Gosh headed Sudan's national intelligence service for about a decade until Bashir replaced him in 2009.

During his tenure Gosh boosted cooperation with the American Central Intelligence Agency.

After leaving the security service he became presidential security adviser but was sacked in early 2011.

He had been pushing for dialogue with the political opposition.

In April Bashir pardoned about 15 security agents and military men who had been jailed for their roles in the coup plot.

Analysts say the case reflects a political struggle within Bashir's government.

Officials have never revealed more than vague details about the conspiracy which analysts said was linked to hardcore Islamist officers who had once firmly backed the regime.

Gosh himself is not part of the Islamist camp.