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Senegalese government stands by court decision on Sonko

Demonstrators clash with riot policemen during a protest at the Cheikh Anta Diop University campus in Dakar, Senegal, on June 1, 2023   -  
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Leo Correa/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.


The Senegalese government praised the justice system following the conviction on Thursday of opposition leader Ousmane Sonko on charges of corruption.

The courts announcement was followed by protests across the country.

 According to the Interior Ministry, nine people were killed in the clashes.

"A politician was taken to the justice (court, Ed.) by a woman who accused him of a number of things. The justice has done its job, which everyone has heard for days. There are threats, invective, and intimidation. The role of the executive is to ensure that all institutions function. We were told that there would be no justice, that people don't recognise the Senegalese justice system. It (justice system, Ed.) has done its job, of course, with complete independence and transparency", said Senegalese government spokesperson, Abdou Karim Fofana.

Sonko's lawyer said a warrant had not yet been issued for the politician's arrest. Ousmane Sonko was sentenced to two years in prison.

"There is also no insurrectionary project (related to opposition protests called by Ousmane Sonko, Ed.) because Senegal also has something that is specific to Africa, Senegal has a state, a strong state that functions, that has faced up to itself, a state that stands on its own feet. And any plans of insurrection come up against the robustness of this State’s infrastructure. So here, we are a democracy in which calls for insurrection have no chance of prospering", said Senegalese Justice Minister Ismaila Madior Fall.

Ousmane Sonko is considered President Macky Sall’s main rival and has urged the president to state publicly that he will not seek a third term in office.

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