The son of Senegal’s former president Abdoulaye Wade was jailed for six years for corruption on Monday,and manybobservers think its a blow to his hopes of running for office and deepening fault lines in the country’s political landscape.
The court in the capital Dakar, which found Karim Wade guilty of hiding funds in offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands and Panama, also fined him 138 billion CFA francs ($228 million).populally known as the ‘minister for heaven and earth’ during his father’s government as he controlled several ministries.
With raising political stakes ahead of Karim Wade’s court verdict, police were vissibly patrolling the city’s streets in large numbers to counter possible protests.The opposition Senegalese Democratic Party (SDP) had of saturday choosed Wade as its candidate for a presidential election that could take place as soon as 2017.
Karim Wade has been in detention since April 2013,He and his legal team boycotted the end of the trial.and denied wrongdoing and branded the trial a witch-hunt, something the government denies.
Prosecutors had demanded a seven-year prison term and a 250 billion CFA franc fine for Wade,The presiding judge Henri Gregoire diop said“The crime of illicit enrichment being proven, Karim Wade: six years in prison and a fine of 138 billion CFA francs,”
Opposition supporters inside the specially created Court for Repression of Illicit Enrichment (CREI) protested loudly after the verdict. With one woman shouting the top of her vouce “I no longer want to be Senegalese,this verdict is shameful.”
Wade’s father left the court without commenting to the media. His son and his legal team had accused the judge of bias, which Diop had strongly denied.
“The CREI is the armed wing of the government put in place explicitly to execute a political adversary,” Cire-Cledor Ly, one of Wade’s lawyers, told a news conference after the hearing.
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