On Thursday, a criminal court in Dakar sentenced Senegalese opposition politician Ousmane Sonko, a candidate in the 2024 presidential election, to two years imprisonment on a charge of "corrupting young people", while acquitting him of rape.
Sonko's co-accused, Ndèye Khady Ndiaye, the owner of the beauty salon where Sonko was accused of repeatedly abusing a female employee, was also sentenced to two years in prison by the criminal division.
According to a lawyer present at the hearing, Ousmane Thiam, "corruption of youth" is an offence under Senegalese law, not a crime like rape.
Sonko's voting rights would have been revoked if he had been convicted in absentia of a crime such as rape.
However, the reclassification of the offence as a misdemeanour under the electoral code appears to keep Sonko's candidacy in the 2024 presidential election in jeopardy.
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