A court sitting in Senegal has handed a six-month suspended sentence and a $300,000 fine to a leading opposition politician, Ousmane Sonko who intends to run in next year’s presidential elections.

Sonko who was found guilty of defaming the country’s tourism minister, received a two-month suspended sentence in March, but the prosecution called for a heavier sentence following an appeal.

Report says Sonko did not appear in court yesterday for the appeal hearing after he announced he would no longer respond to court summonses unless his security could be guaranteed.

Reports say the opposition sees the entire trial as an attempt to ensure Sonko cannot stand for president, while the incumbent, Macky Sall, may seek a third term, despite the constitution’s two term limit.


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