Wednesday, April 24, 2024
22.2 C
City of Banjul
HomeGambia NewsSENEGAL: OUSMANE SONKO GIVEN TWO MONTHS SUSPENDED SENTENCE AND REMAINS ELIGIBLE

SENEGAL: OUSMANE SONKO GIVEN TWO MONTHS SUSPENDED SENTENCE AND REMAINS ELIGIBLE

Donate to Freedom Radio Today

The trial for “defamation, insults and forgery” between Mame Mbaye Niang and Ousmane Sonko, leader of Pastef, has just ended. The judge pronounced a verdict immediately after the pleas of the lawyers for the civil party and the requisitions of the prosecutor.

Judge’s decision

The judge decided not to follow the requisitions of the prosecutor, who asked for a sentence of two years in prison, including one year firm, against Ousmane Sonko. Finally, the leader of Pastef was sentenced to a two-month suspended sentence and to pay damages of 200 million FCFA.

The court retained only the charge of “defamation” and rendered its verdict in the absence of the accused, Ousmane Sonko, and his lawyers.

Consequences on the political future of Ousmane Sonko

This sentence does not threaten the political future of Ousmane Sonko. According to lawyer Maître Ngagne Demba Touré, “President Ousmane Sonko remains eligible”.

Civil society and opposition concerns

Before the verdict, many civil society members and opposition political party activists feared that this trial was orchestrated by the state to prevent the leader of Pastef from running in the 2024 presidential elections.

Eligibility of Ousmane Sonko for the presidential elections

According to the Senegalese Constitution, only candidates with their civic rights can stand for election. With this two-month suspended sentence, Ousmane Sonko does not fall into this category. When presidential elections are held in 2024, his conviction will have expired, allowing him to stand as a candidate.

Ousmane Sonko was absent and his lawyers, before the judge’s denial at their request for dismissal of the said trial, had also shunned the courtroom.

Absence of Ousmane Sonko’s lawyers and withdrawal of two counsel

It is important to underline that Ousmane Sonko’s lawyers chose not to attend the trial. They had previously requested the suspension of the hearing in order to be able to consult each other, due to the late withdrawal of two of their colleagues. However, this request was refused by the judge. These two councils, the French lawyer Me Juan Branco and Me Ousseynou Fall, experienced different situations. Me Branco was turned away upon his arrival at Blaise Diagne Airport in Diamniadio on Wednesday March 29, while Me Fall was suspended late by the Bar Association following an altercation during the trial on March 16.

Medical certificate refused to justify the absence of Ousmane Sonko

The lawyers also wanted to present a medical certificate to justify the absence of their client, Ousmane Sonko, during the trial. However, this request was also rejected by the magistrate in charge of the case.

Latest articles

GAMBIA: THE 40 MILLION DALASIS MEDIA SLUSH FUND, AN IMPROPER USE OF PUBLIC FUNDS. GAMBIA FOR ALL (GFA) PARTY REGRETS THE GOVERNMENT DECISION

The revelation that the government of President Adama Barrow has decided to allocate forty million Dalasi of...

GAMBIA: A BILL TO PUNISH THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES HAS BEEN INTRODUCED BY THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE

On Monday, April 22, 2024, Honourable Dawda A. Jallow, the Attorney General and Minister...

GAMBIA: BILLS ADDRESSING HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS PASSED BY GAMBIAN LAWMAKERS

Bills 2024 establishing the Special Prosecutor's Office and 2024 establishing the Special Accountability Mechanism...

GAMBIA: DEPUTY AMBASSADOR JERREH JAMMEH REFUSES TO VACATE HIS POST AT THE GAMBIAN MISSION IN MAURITANIA

The Gambia's diplomatic posts abroad have been the subject of criticism in recent months.The...

More like this

GAMBIA: THE 40 MILLION DALASIS MEDIA SLUSH FUND, AN IMPROPER USE OF PUBLIC FUNDS. GAMBIA FOR ALL (GFA) PARTY REGRETS THE GOVERNMENT DECISION

The revelation that the government of President Adama Barrow has decided to allocate forty million Dalasi of...

GAMBIA: A BILL TO PUNISH THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES HAS BEEN INTRODUCED BY THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE

On Monday, April 22, 2024, Honourable Dawda A. Jallow, the Attorney General and Minister...

GAMBIA: BILLS ADDRESSING HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS PASSED BY GAMBIAN LAWMAKERS

Bills 2024 establishing the Special Prosecutor's Office and 2024 establishing the Special Accountability Mechanism...