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Hassan 'Abd Allah al-Turabi, is a religious and Islamist political leader in Sudan, who may have been instrumental in institutionalizing sharia in the northern part of the country. He has been called a "longtime hard-line ideological leader". Al-Turabi was leader of the National Islamic Front, a political movement with considerable political power in Sudan but little popularity among voters. In 1979 he became Minister of Justice. In June 1989, a coup d'état by his allies, the "National Salvation Revolution", brought him and the National Islamic Front to power. In March 1996, al-Turabi was elected to a seat in the National Assembly, where he served as speaker during the 1990s. This period coincided with a decline in the influence of al-Turabi and his party's "internationalist and ideological wing" in favor of more pragmatic leaders, brought on by the imposition of UN sanctions on Sudan in punishment for Sudan's assistance to Egyptian terrorists in their attempt to assassinate Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Al-Turabi was imprisoned in the Kobar prison in Khartoum in March 2004 on the orders of his one-time ally President Omar al-Bashir. He was released on 28 June 2005. (via Freebase)