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

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid