Niger opposition leader sentenced in child trafficking case

A court has sentenced a Niger opposition leader to one year in prison in absentia for involvement in a child trafficking scheme.

Hama Amadou and his wife, who also was sentenced Monday night, are in France. Amadou, a former national assembly member and ally of President Mahamadou Issoufou, ran as his opponent in elections last year. His lawyers call the trial politically motivated.

Amadou denies being involved in a trafficking ring.

His lawyers say they twice were denied requests for a postponement of the trial while Amadou is in France. He went there before the election for medical reasons.

Lawyer Souley Oumarou said Tuesday they will appeal.

Some 30 defendants received sentences for involvement in a scheme that police say involved trafficking babies from Nigeria into Niger.