News / Africa

Son of Former Senegal President Jailed

Karim Wade (R), son of Senegal's former president Abdoulaye Wade, attends a rally by his father's political party Parti Democratique Senegalais (PDS) in Dakar, Dec. 6, 2012.
Karim Wade (R), son of Senegal's former president Abdoulaye Wade, attends a rally by his father's political party Parti Democratique Senegalais (PDS) in Dakar, Dec. 6, 2012.
Anne Look
Karim Wade, the son of Senegal's ex-president and a former government minister, has been formally charged with illicit enrichment. He allegedly amassed assets worth an estimated $1.4 billion during his father's 12 years in power. The 44-year-old Wade was placed in Dakar's central prison just before midnight Wednesday, and the judge said he will remain without bail until trial. 
 
Karim Wade spent his first night Wednesday at Dakar's central prison, known as Reubeuss.

Local media report that Wade arrived at the jail just before midnight after being formally charged with illegal enrichment during his eight years in the government of his father, Abdoulaye Wade.

Seven of Karim Wade's associates were charged as accomplices and reportedly detained as well.

The case has dominated headlines since police took Karim Wade into custody on Monday following a six-month investigation by the prosecutor for newly revived Court Against Illegal Enrichment.

No one above the law?

Senegalese say it is as a sign that no one is above the law.

Forty-eight-year-old land use manager Abdoulaye Kane said Karim was a big man, responsible for a lot of things so it is only normal that he should account for it. He said he trusts the courts to do their work and if they find that there was something dirty in how Karim acquired his assets, then he should answer for it.

During his father's time in power, Karim Wade managed a hefty ministerial portfolio that included air transport, energy, infrastructure and international cooperation.

Prosecutors accuse Wade of "engineering" a complex network of front men and offshore companies, based in places like the British Virgin Islands and Luxembourg, to acquire stakes in companies involved in the running of Dakar's port, handling services at the airport, and other key parts of the economy.

Karim Wade was a powerful but divisive figure during his father's presidency.

Thirty-two-year-old Moustapha Gueye said it is up to the courts to decide whether Karim is innocent or guilty. But, he said, Karim was a bit greedy, wasn't he? He accumulated so many ministries. He said President Wade said he only trusted Karim, but Karim wasn't the only person in Senegal. He said that was a lack of respect.

Wade denies charges

Karim Wade's legal team has denied the charges against him and said it can prove that his wealth was obtained legally.

The case is the centerpiece of efforts by the government of President Macky Sall to crack down on corruption and increase transparency. But Wade's supporters say it is nothing more than a political witch hunt.

Forty-year-old fruit seller Coumba Ndiaye, said that they either need to investigate everyone from the past government, and some in the current one, or let Karim Wade go. 

She said she has been asking herself why Karim Wade is the one being targeted.  She said other people, some who are still in government, stole too. But, she said  they are going after Karim because he is their political competition.

You May Like

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid