19 April 2013

Senegal: Former President Wade's Son Incarcerated

Photo: allAfrica.com
Karim Wade (file photo).

Cape Town — Karim Wade, son of former Senegalese president Abdulaye Wade, has been incarcerated at Rebeuss Prison, a correction centre in the capital of Dakar. Wade is being asked to justify a fortune estimated at 694 billion CFA, equal to more than $1.37 billion, amassed in various bank accounts.

During his father's presidency, Wade was one of most influential cabinet ministers and was tipped to take over the reigns of power after his father's term of office. He is being accused of using his influence to gather illicit wealth.

His arrest has elicited reactions from various quarters, including leaders of civil society movements. Alassane Seck, a Human Rights activist, believes that it is a "step in the right direction as the amount under consideration is equivalent to six or seven ministerial budgets".

Wade's lawyer argues that his arrest is "nothing but an attempt to settle political scores". According to Demba Cire Bathily, this is an attempt to systematically incapacitate the former president's political party and they are confident they will prove Karim's innocence.

Text translated from RFI French service by Michael Tantoh

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