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Senegal: Ousmane Sonko ignores his lawsuit for defamation

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One of many leaders of the Senegalese opposition, Ousmane Sonko, avoided showing earlier than a Dakar court docket on Thursday for a defamation trial on which his presidential candidacy in 2024 may rely, famous a journalist from the AFP.

Mr. Sonko’s legal professionals advised the court docket that their shopper had not acquired a summons, an argument contradicted by the prosecution and the recommendation of the plaintiff, a minister.

The defence additionally requested a postponement of the trial to deepen the case. The trial has been postponed to February 16.

Pictures broadcast by Mr Sonko’s tv, Jotna, confirmed him taking part in ball, surrounded by his bodyguards, in a road close to his residence, in a district of Dakar squared by the police.

For 2 years, Mr Sonko, third within the presidential election of 2019 and candidate for that of subsequent yr, has been an everyday in-court summons.

They’ve systematically mobilized a big police power because the questioning of Mr Sonko in a case of alleged rape in March 2021 triggered essentially the most critical riots within the nation for years.

Mr. Sonko shouts on the plot meant to dismiss him from the presidential election and the instrumentalization of justice by the ability of President Macky Sall, which the latter refutes.

Justice ordered in January the dismissal of Mr Sonko in entrance of a court docket for alleged rapes. No trial date is thought.

This case is a supply of fixed stress. However consideration has just lately turned to a different, for defamation, and its potential penalties on Mr Sonko’s candidacy.

The texts present for elimination from the electoral lists, and subsequently ineligibility, in a sure variety of instances of conviction.

Mr Sonko is being sued by Tourism Minister Mame Mbaye Niang, additionally a presidential occasion official, for “defamation, insults and forgery”.

The minister, current on the listening to on Thursday, accuses him of getting declared in December that his administration had been “pinned” in a report by a management establishment on the Program for the Growth of Group Agricultural Domains (Prodac), which ‘he denies.

Mr. Niang was 2014 to 2019 the pinnacle of the Ministry of Youth and Employment and had beneath his supervision the Prodac arrange by President Sall to advertise youth employment in rural areas.