Senegal: Will Ousmane Sonko be tried in absentia in his retrial?

Will political opponent Ousmane Sonko go to court on Tuesday? AP - Sylvain Cherkaoui

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Clashes broke out Monday in Ziguinchor in the south of the country and in several neighborhoods of Dakar on the eve of the announced new trial of Ousmane Sonko. The opponent must in principle appear this Tuesday in Dakar in front of Adji Sarr, former employee of a massage parlor, who accuses him of repeated rapes and death threats for more than two years. The leader of the Pastef party and presidential candidate scheduled for February 2024 has always denounced "a political conspiracy". He had already said that he no longer intended to "collaborate with justice".


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With our correspondent in Dakar, Charlotte Idrac and Pauline Le Troquier in Paris

In Ziguinchor, the city of which he is mayor, Ousmane Sonko's supporters have shown determination to defend their leader. A policeman was killed and hit by a police vehicle during clashes near the opponent's home. Ousmane Sonko did not appear at the registry of the criminal chamber of Dakar on Monday as provided for in the code of criminal procedure.

Will he go to court? His relatives and defense remained unclear Monday. Me Said Larifou one of his lawyers at a press conference from Paris. "He did not receive a summons. When he receives a summons, Mr. Sonko will go there - if all security conditions are guaranteed. »

>> READ ALSO: Senegal: eve of a new trial at risk for the opponent Ousmane Sonko, accused of rape

According to the law, Ousmane Sonko could be arrested and forcibly presented in court OR tried in absentia. In any case, Me El hadj Diouf, Adji Sarr's lawyer, wants to believe that "the moment of truth has arrived".


The face-to-face is inevitable, unless the one who is afraid refuses to appear. You cannot be above the court, you can be at the disposal of the court. Everyone is summoned regularly, only the trial remains. He is expected by Adji Sarr. But this trial is awaited by all Senegalese. We have to get this matter over with anyway.


As in Ziguinchor, schools will remain closed in the capital. As a security measure, the governor of Dakar once again banned the circulation of motorcycles on Tuesday.

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