Senegal: Jailing of Dakar mayor called political

The arrest is purely meant to hinder the mayor's political ambitions in upcoming elections, say his lawyers

Senegal: Jailing of Dakar mayor called political

World Bulletin / News Desk

The mayor of Senegal’s capital -- a chief critic of President Macky Sall -- and six of his staffers were denied bail last night and sent to jail by a high court judge.

Dakar Mayor Khalifa Sall -- no relation to the president -- faces charges of misappropriation of funds, conspiracy, forgery and forgery, but his lawyers say the matter is politically motivated.

"This arrest and detention is intended only to hinder Mr. Khalifa Sall in his political ambitions, preventing him from running for the next legislative and presidential elections scheduled for July 2017 and February 2019 respectively," his lawyers said in a midnight statement.

Lead defense lawyer Demba Serry Leigh said the arrest and detention of the Socialist mayor is arbitrary as it is based on political reasons and is a slap to the justice system.

The staffers detained included the City Council financial director, his deputy, and the head of the financial and accounting department.

In 2011-2015, he is accused of misusing 30 million Central African francs ($50,000), which was meant to be part of an advance development fund.

Sall is the second opposition leader to be jailed in three weeks after Bathalomy Dias, the mayor of Dakar’s Mermoz district, was also sent to jail for riotous conduct and illegal use of arms.

Rights groups have raised strong concerns about the development, calling it a political witch hunt.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 08 Mart 2017, 15:10