A criminal court in Senegal on Thursday, June 1, 2023, sentenced to a two-year jail term Ousmane Sonko a vociferous opposition leader. Sonko was charged with “corrupting young people”, an offence defined in the penal code as an immoral behaviour towards persons under the age of 21. However, that same court acquitted Sonko of the rape complaint which was filed against him in 2021.
Ousmane Sonko was accused of raping a massage therapist where he had gone for a massage, and allegedly later made death threats against her. However, he denied the allegation and blamed the ruling party for politically rousing those accusations in order to wreck him of his candidacy since he is gaining much more popularity.
According to Senegalese laws, the criminal court’s verdict on Thursday implies that Ousmane Sonko’s bid for the 2024 presidential election would be jeopardised. Meanwhile, the Senegalese Ministry of Justice has reportedly ordered that Sonko could now be taken to prison at any time. After the sentence, police officers have also surrounded his home in Dakar.
Sonko is the president of a major political party known as PASTEF or “Les Patriotes” (Patriots of Senegal for Ethics, Work and Fraternity). The vociferous politician is also the elected deputy of the NDAWI ASKAN WI (People’s Alternative Coalition in the National Assembly).
SOURCE: THE SPARK
THURSDAY, JUNE 1, 2023.