A Senegalese court on Thursday gave opposition politician Ousmane Sonko a two-month suspended prison sentence for defaming a minister.
Ousmane Sonko, 48, had to answer for defamation, insults and forgery against the Minister of Tourism Mame Mbaye Niang.
In addition to the two-month suspended prison sentence, the court fined Mr Sonko, who was absent from the hearing, 200 million CFA francs (300,000 euros, Ed.) to be paid to the minister. It released him from the offences of insult and forgery.
According to Sonko's legal team, the opposition politician is still eligible to run in the presidential elections in 2024.
The opponent, who came third in the presidential election in 2019, and his supporters claim that the judiciary is being used by the government to eliminate him politically and clear the way for the incumbent Macky Sall.
Opposition calls for protests on Wednesday and Thursday appeared to have little effect.
Hundreds of people have been arrested in recent weeks, including among Sonko's supporters.