Criminal court in Senegal has convicted 13 for planning to operate terror cell in the country with the ring leader of the group by the names of Makhtar Diokhane receiving the heaviest punishment of 20 years in jail. The defendant lawyer Alassane Cisse told Reauters news agency that they will appeal the ruling blaming the court for being too harsh while handing sentence to his client.
Diokhane’s two wives and 12 others were acquitted after state failed to produce enough evidence against them. The suspects numbering 30 were committed to country court in the trial that started April after being suspected of creating terror cells after returning from Nigeria were they were working with Boko Haram. Other 29 suspects including 3 women were accused of financing rebels, money laundering where also charged of terrorism.
State had asked for live imprisonment for the 11 convicts and 30 years jail for popular imam from Kaolack but was given one month suspended sentence.
The group that was on remand since their arrests in 2015 where accused of planning to cause violence in Senegal and neighboring countries. This is first large number of terrorist groups to be convicted by Senegalese court. Boko Haram has been a major threat to West Africa nations killing millions of people and displacing thousands from their home areas with Nigeria suffering most. Other countries like Cameroon and Senegal have tightened their securities to dwarf the influx of Al-Qaida linked groups in there territories.