Senegal: Prosecutor Demands 10-Year Jail Term for Opposition Leader Sonko

A prosecutor in Senegal on Wednesday called for a 10-year prison sentence in the rape case against opposition leader Ousmane Sonko.

Highly popular among young people, Sonko has branded the trial a political plot aimed at scuttling his bid for the 2024 presidency.

The trial resumed in a court in the capital Dakar on Tuesday despite Sonko's failure for the second time running to attend the hearing.

On Friday Sonko said he would go to court if his safety could be guaranteed. His lawyers say he did not receive a summons.

Deadly protests

Sonko is believed to be in the southern city of Ziguinchor, several hundred kilometres from Dakar, where he is mayor.

There was a strong security presence in the capital amid fears of protests that have flared sporadically since the 48-year-old was first arrested in 2021.

Several days of protests following his detention left at least 12 people dead.

Sonko has been charged with rape and making death threats against an employee of a beauty salon in Dakar.

The opposition leader denies any assault, saying he went to the salon for a massage for chronic back pain.

Complainant Adji Sarr, 20, maintained her accusations in Tuesday's hearing, saying she had been abused five times by Sonko. She also said she had received death threats.

Sonko's trial opened on 16 May but was adjourned until 23 May after he failed to attend.

A decision is expected to be handed down on 1 June.

(with wires)

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