Dakar's new mayor returns to court

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The new mayor of Senegal's capital, Dakar, may face five years behind bars if found guilty for the death of a man shot in 2011 in a context of political violence.

Barthelemy Dias is being tried on appeal in a case that has been postponed several times.

On February 17th, Barthelemy Dias took up the position of mayor of Dakar on behalf of a national coalition led by Ousmane Sonko.

"In this case, there are several grey areas that cannot establish the guilt of Barthelemy Dias. It is not based on speculation, on suppositions, on the possibility that someone will be convicted, especially Barthelemy Dias who is the mayor of Dakar", said Ousseynou Fall, lawyer of Barthelemy Dias.

The defendant's lawyer denounced the trial as politically-motivated.

"We see a relentlessness that does not say its name against politicians who are not prosecuted for ignominious acts but are prosecuted because they are not on the same side as the current president Macky Sall and it is unfortunate", added Ousseynou Fall.

Barthelemy Dias, along with a dozen other defendants was tried in 2017 and sentenced to two years in jail. The defendant rejected all accusations claiming he acted in self-defence.

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