Senegal - Parliament - Justice

Senegal: Embattled opposition leader's immunity lifted

APA-Dakar (Senegal)

Members of Senegal's National Assembly have met in plenary session on Friday to lift the parliamentary immunity of an opposition MP accused of multiple rape.

By Ibrahima Dione 

Ousmane Sonko, who leads the Senegalese Patriots Party for Work, Ethics and Fraternity (PASTEF) has is set to be prosecuted. 

Sonko is expected to answer to the accusation against him in a prosecution procedure initiated on February 11.

The debate to lift Sonko's immunity from prosecution lasted for more than two hours, often punctuated by heckling.

The ruling majority of the presidential voted in favour of lifting his parliamentary immunity with 90 votes in favour, one against and two abstentions.

Opposition MPs and disinterested members witnessed the debate before boycotting the vote. 

Ousmane Sonko, a former Inspector of Taxes and Domains was the subject of a complaint filed on February 2 by an employee of a massage parlour in Dakar accusing him of “rape and death threats.”

Pape Biram Touré, the chairman of the ad hoc committee set up to look into this moral case, said that the committee “has carried out its mission despite multiple attempts to derail it and it has remained serene and concentrated.”

The supporters of Mr. Sonko, who came 3rd in the last presidential election, claim that he is simply the target of an attempt at political liquidation. 

In parliament, the Minister of Justice, Malick Sall, dismissed this with a wave of his hand.

 “The head of state, Macky Sall, had a reaction of desolation, of compassion when I told him about the affair. He told me that he did not wish this even to his worst enemy” the minister said.



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