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Senegal charges Baitullah with espionage, insulting head of state

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Senegal’s leading daily L’Observateur, has revealed that Omar Sanneh better known as ‘Baitullah’ who was arrested by Senegalese security agents in a village near Bignona in the Casamance on June 10, has been formally charged.

The former Gambian soldier who has been living in Senegal for many years has gained notoriety for making incendiary and rude audios and broadcasting them on the social media.

According to L’Observateur, following his arrest, Sanneh was detained at Dakar’s Colobane Gendarmerie Research Section where he was subjected to intensive interrogation.

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At the conclusion of the investigations, he was formally charged with espionage, conspiracy, threatening the territorial integrity of Senegal, crimes of disturbing the state, insulting the head of state and spreading false news.

According to Senegalese security sources, Sanneh made “inflammatory audio remarks in which he affirms, in particular, that the Gambian president, Adama Barrow, was irregularly installed in power with the complicity of Senegal; castigates the agreements of peace between the government and the MFDC; and has been talking about Ousmane Sonko in a manner prejudicial to the maintenance of peace in Senegal”.

According to L’Observateur, when presented with the audios, Sanneh acknowledged to the investigators the authorship of the recordings, saying: “Yes, it’s my voice. It’s very recent, it’s not even two weeks. I spoke about the elections in The Gambia. I said it didn’t happen properly. And it is the fault of the state of Senegal.

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“I also said that Ousmane Sonko was barricaded at his home [in Ziguinchor before his conviction in the rape trial] and under divine protection. No one can do anything to him. Many young people left Foñi to go to Bignona then to Ziguinchor with Ousmane Sonko. He never went to the bush for any mystical bath. It was the marabouts who went to see him at his home.

“The marabout of Yahya Jammeh was with him when he barricaded himself with the help of the youths. But I point out to you that for more than 10 years he has been asking for prayers and making offerings to prepare himself.”

L’Observateur reported that at the end of his confession, Sanneh admitted to the interrogator: “As you say that I have no right to speak about Senegal, so I am at fault and I apologise.”

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