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Senegal opposition chief to face rape trial: attorneys

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A Senegalese decide has ordered a outstanding opposition chief, Ousmane Sonko, to face trial for alleged rape, attorneys for Sonko and his accuser mentioned on Wednesday.

Sonko, who got here third in Senegal’s presidential election in 2019 — has loved a speedy political rise thanks partly to his reputation with younger folks and has declared himself a candidate for the 2024 elections.

Nevertheless, he has additionally suffered authorized troubles. Most notably he has been accused of rape by an worker of a magnificence salon the place he went for a therapeutic massage.

Sonko, a 48-year-old former tax inspector, has denied the cost and says he’s the sufferer of a plot by President Macky Sall.

The decide on Tuesday signed an order to ship Sonko’s case to a legal court docket for alleged crimes he was charged with in 2021, together with rape and demise threats, the plaintiff’s lawyer El Hadji Diouf mentioned.

“She is happy. She appreciates the truth that, regardless of the marketing campaign of lies and manipulation by Sonko’s supporters who’re afraid of the trial, the decide stood agency,” he mentioned.

Certainly one of Sonko’s attorneys, Cheik Khoureyssi Ba, confirmed the transfer.

Ba pressured that the order was topic to authorized problem and mentioned Sonko’s authorized group meant to attraction.

Sonko has described the rape accusation as a part of a scheme to torpedo his 2024 candidacy.

The polarising politician is taken into account a populist firebrand by his critics.

Sonko’s supporters hail his efforts to talk up on corruption and social elitism, in addition to slamming the financial and political grip of multinational corporations and Senegal’s former colonial energy, France.

His indictment in March 2021 triggered violence during which round a dozen folks have been killed.

Senegal has a normal fame for stability in a area the place political turbulence is widespread.

Lately, a number of different outstanding opponents of the president have had their political careers minimize brief by authorized circumstances.

Authorities have denied any misuse of state establishments within the authorized proceedings in opposition to Sonko.