ABDOULAYE WADE CRIES FOUL OVER SON’S SENTENCE!

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Father's joy now becomes his agony. Former President Wade decorating his son Karim Wade in 2011

Father’s joy now becomes his agony! Former President Wade decorating his son Karim Wade in 2011

Former Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade cries foul over the sentencing of his son, Karim Wade, who was on Monday, 23 March 2015, sentenced to six years imprisonment and fined $230m (£150m), for what the Judge of a specially constituted Tribunal to try his case described as his illegal enrichment, during the 12 years reign of his father, Abdoulaye Wade. 

Judge Henri Gregoire Diop said Wade had hidden away funds in offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands and Panama. “The facts before us constitute illicit enrichment by Karim Wade,” the judge was quoted as saying.

One of the government lawyers in the case, Mr Simon Ndiaye described the sentence as “historic decision not only for Senegal but also for the whole of Africa and all those who defend responsibility, citizenship and good governance.”

However, Karim Wade’s lawyer, Mohamed Seydou Diagne said he would appeal the verdict, contending that the anti-corruption court did not have jurisdiction over the case and it was politically motivated.

Meanwhile, in Senegal itself, the sentence continues to polarize opinions. Many are questioning the insufficiency of the evidence relied upon by the Judge to sentence Mr Wade Junior. Whilst others, including former President Wade himself, are questioning the motive behind the trial, describing it as a political witch-hunt of President Macky Sall against his old time friend, now political foe, Karim Wade. Others feared that the sentence of Karim could set a bad precedent for Senegal, which could usher in the witch hunt of succeeding governments against their preceding governments.

On 4 February 2015, former president Wade told thousands of his opposition supporters that he was prepared to “give his life” to prevent the conviction of his son on corruption charges. This had provoked President Sall to issue a warning last week that his government would not tolerate any attempt to destabilise the West African country following the court ruling.

Karim Wade, who was once dubbed as the Minister for Heaven and Earth, due to his many ministerial portfolios, during his father’s reign, was nominated on 21 March 2015 to become the Presidential candidate for his father’s party, the Party of Socialist Democrats of Senegal (PDS). He is now likely to be disqualified to run for the next Senegalese Presidential elections expected to take place in 2017.

It could be recalled that Karim Wade was first arrested and questioned by the Senegalese Police on 3 July 2012 on suspicion of corruption. This was 4 months after the election of President Macky Sall, as President of Senegal, on 25 March 2012.

On 17 April 2013 Karim was remanded in custody on corruption charges, after he was accused of accumulating a fortune valued at $1.3 billion. He made his first appearance before the Special Tribunal on 31 July 2013, where he presents himself as a “political prisoner”.

However, on 11 November 2014, the prosecutor to the Special Tribunal, Alioune Ndao was fired and replaced by Cheikh Tidiana Mara.

On March 21, Karim was chosen to be the Democratic Party of Senegal’s candidate of the next presidential election. However, that hope dashed on 23 March 2015, when he was sentenced six years imprisonment for corruption.


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