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SENEGAL: Presidential hopeful loses appeal against jail time

Senegal’s Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that jailed presidential hopeful Khalifa Sall could not appeal a prison sentence for embezzlement, his lawyers said, likely ending his chance of running as a free man in February polls.

The popular former mayor of Dakar was arrested in March 2017 on suspicion of embezzling 1.8 billion CFA francs ($3 million) in public funds. Last year he was sentenced to five years in jail.

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Khalifa Sall’s lawyer, Seydou Diagne, said his client had not been stripped of his political rights and still stood a chance of running in the election. Diagne said he plans to take the case to another chamber of the court, which would take more than a month.

State lawyers were not available for comment.

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Despite his imprisonment, Khalifa Sall was one of just five candidates who collected the 53,000 supporting signatures required to run for election.

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