Senegal's Supreme Court considers defamation judgment against opposition leader

Senegal's Supreme Court considers defamation judgment against opposition leader

Senegal's Supreme Court is scheduled to hand down a six-month suspended sentence on Thursday for imprisoned opposition leader Ousmane Sonko on defamation charges, a decision that could threaten his chances of running for president. may be endangered.

The 49-year-old, who has filed to run in next month's presidential election, is at the center of a conflict with the state that has dragged on for more than two years and sparked some deadly fears.

The state has refused to provide him with the documents he needs to run, but Sonko's campaign says he still has the right to contest the vote after a judge ordered him back on the electoral roll in December. claims.

The defamation hearing was held on Thursday without Sonko in attendance, an AFP reporter saw.

In March, the opposition lawmaker who came third in the 2019 presidential election was sentenced to two months' probation and a hefty fine for defamation and contempt against Senegal's Tourism Minister Mame Mbaye Niang. .

The Dakar Court of Appeal subsequently extended the period to six months.

While it is widely understood that the ruling would invalidate his presidential bid, there are legal gray areas beyond the six-month threshold.

The Supreme Court's decision ends the case.

Sonko was sentenced to two years in prison in June for morally corrupting young people and was removed from Senegal's electoral roll.

He has been in jail since late July on other charges, including calling for insurrection, colluding with a terrorist organization and endangering national security.

He denies the charges, claiming the purpose was to prevent him from running in the February 25 election.

The fire brand's billboards have developed a cult following among Senegal's disaffected youth.


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