Senegal Court Rejects Appeal of Jailed Presidential Contender

(Bloomberg) -- Senegal’s Supreme Court upheld the prison sentence of the capital’s jailed former mayor in a ruling that will likely block one of President Macky Sall’s main rivals from running in next month’s presidential vote.

The top court in Dakar rejected an appeal Thursday to reverse the five-year imprisonment of Khalifa Sall, who was sentenced in March on charges related to the embezzlement of 1.8 billion CFA francs ($3.1 million), Seydou Diagne, his lawyer, said by phone. A spokesman for the court couldn’t be immediately reached when called for comment.

Sall, who is not related to the president, has maintained his innocence since his arrest and in July declared his candidacy for the presidential vote. He will pursue further legal options to strike down the sentence, said Diagne.

Thursday’s ruling is likely to bar Sall from the Feb. 24 vote, Vincent Rouget, a senior analyst with Control Risks in London, said in emailed comments.

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