Senegal: Singer Thione Seck sentenced on appeal case of money laundering

Jun 24, 2020, 12:38 PM

Senegalese musician, Thione Seck, a member of the legendary orchestra Baobab in the 1970s, was sentenced on appeal to three years in prison, including eight months firm, in the case of counterfeit tickets, but he will not return to prison, we learned from his lawyer.

Thione Seck, 65, who was arrested in May 2015, spent nine months in pretrial detention for "forgery of currency signs" and "attempted swindle", before being granted temporary release. The length of his pre-trial detention therefore exceeds the nine months in prison he was sentenced to on Monday, which allows him to remain at large, his lawyer, Ousmane Seye, told AFP. A bag containing "50 million euros", which were found to be false bills, had been found with the singer in Dakar. During his trial in May 2019, he had obtained the cancellation of the procedure for formal defect during the investigation. He had not received the assistance of a lawyer during police custody after his arrest, according to justice. The prosecution had appealed the judgment in May 2019 and during the appeal trial on June 15, the prosecution had requested five years in prison. "The judge sentenced him today to three years in prison, including eight months firm, for attempting to market banknotes. He is free but we are not satisfied with the judgment " Seye said. The lawyer announced that he would seize the Court of Cassation and the West African Court of Justice. Thione Seck's Malian co-defendant, Alaye Djité, was tried in absentia and sentenced on Monday to five years in prison. He is the subject of an international arrest warrant. The musician claimed during the trial proceedings to have been "victim of a conspiracy" mounted by Gambians living in Sweden, who had dangled him a contract of 100 million euros for a series of 105 concerts in Europe. One of these Gambians, Joachim Cisse, based in Banjul, had, according to him, given him as "advance" a sum of "50 million euros" in the bag containing the counterfeit notes found at his home. Investigators have never traced this group of Gambians and the scam complaint filed by Thione Seck had been dismissed. Thione Seck, author of several successful albums, is one of the most beautiful voices from Senegal. His son Wally Seck is also one of the most popular singers currently in Senegal.