Senegal opposition leader Sonko formally charged, detained – lawyer

Senegalese opposition figure Ousmane Sonko on Monday was charged with fomenting insurrection, according to one of his lawyers who spoke with media.

The news comes three days after he was arrested at his home.

After appearing before a judge, Sonko, a staunch critic of President Macky Sall, “was charged and placed in custody,” as reported by lawyer Ousseynou Ngom to media.

The public prosecutor on Saturday revealed that seven new charges would be brought against Sonko, pertaining to comments he made, rallies he organized, and other incidents since 2021, including an occurrence at his home on Friday that resulted in his arrest.

The charges against Sonko include accusations of undermining state security, criminal association with a terrorist organization, and theft.

On Monday, one of Sonko’s lawyers informed local media that an eighth charge of disseminating false news had been added to the list of charges against him.

The prosecutor clarified on Saturday that this new legal matter is unrelated to a high-profile moral corruption case for which Sonko had been sentenced to two years in prison in absentia on June 1.

The sentence, which renders him ineligible to run in next year’s presidential election, led to clashes resulting in at least 16 fatalities.

His lawyers have asserted that his arrest on Friday nullified his conviction in the moral corruption case, as he had been tried in absentia.

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