Senegal issues international arrest warrant for French lawyer Juan Branco
The council defends the interests of Senegalese opponent Ousmane Sonko and is accused of being responsible for “crimes and misdemeanors” in connection with the unrest in the country a month ago.
Senegalese justice announced Friday, July 14 the launch of an international arrest warrant against Juan Branco, French lawyer for Senegalese opponent Ousmane Sonko, for “crimes and misdemeanors” in connection with the unrest that occurred in early June in Senegal. “After receiving the compilation of statements, writings and posts” lawyer, “it was found elements which, obviously, are likely to engage its criminal responsibility”says a press release from the prosecution sent to AFP on Friday, announcing “the opening of a judicial investigation”. Besides, “an arrest warrant has been requested against him”adds the text.
Juan Branco announced on June 22 that he had filed a complaint in France and a request for an investigation at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague against Senegalese President Macky Sall for “crimes against humanity”, after the worst unrest that has known Senegal at the beginning of June for years. These procedures for “crimes against humanity” also target Senegalese Interior Minister Antoine Felix Abdoulaye Diome, General Moussa Fall, commander of the Senegalese gendarmerie, as well as a hundred “other individuals”and relate to the period from “from March 2021 to June 2023”.-
The collective of Ousmane Sonko’s lawyers has “firmly expressed (his) strong indignation with regard to a drift of this nature against our colleague Juan Branco”in a press release published Friday evening in Dakar, in reaction to the announcement of the Senegalese justice against their colleague.-
Juan Branco’s action with international and French justice had been described as “childish and ridiculous” by the Senegalese Minister of Foreign Affairs Aïssata Tall Sall. Opponent Ousmane Sonko’s two-year prison sentence on June 1 caused serious unrest in Senegal, killing 16 officially and 30 according to the opposition.
The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Thursday that it had made a report to the French judicial authorities after the revelation by lawyer Juan Branco, in “recent posts”the identity of officials of the French Embassy in Senegal, in connection with the unrest in Senegal.