Senegal: Briefly Sympathetic

One might say that things were rigged in advance when ex-Premier Mamadou Dia went on trial last week for attempting to seize power in December. After all, six of the seven "judges" were members of the National Assembly that Dia had tried to dissolve by force during the abortive coup. They just might be a little prejudiced. But when the proceedings began, the court was careful to observe all the flowery decorum of Gallic justice. The presiding judge was resplendent in ermine-trimmed long red robes, and sat listening with calm dignity. Moreover, Dia was not even...