Karim Wade has been sentenced to six years in prison and a fine of £153m.
SENEGAL – Son of former Senegal president Abdoulaye Wade has been sentenced to six years in prison for corruption.
Karim Wade, once a senior minister in his father’s government, was also fined $228m (£153m) after he was accused of illegal enrichment during Abdoulaye Wade’s 12-year rule.
Just this weekend, Wade Jr. was chosen as the presidential candidate of main opposition party PDS.
He has been accused of illegally amassing about $1.4bn when his father was in power.
“The facts before us constitute illicit enrichment by Karim Wade,” Judge Henri Gregoire Diop, who oversaw the court case, said. He also added that Karim Wade he had hidden away funds in offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands and Panama.
Supporters of the opposition shouted their protest from within the courtroom, saying the verdict was “shameful.”
Current Senegal president Macky Sall warned last week that the government would not allow itself to be destabilised following the verdict.
Sall defeated Abdoulaye Wade in a hotly contested election in 2012.
Karim Wade was in charge of major infrastructure and energy projects during his father’s government.
He has been known all through the country as “the minister of the earth and the sky” due to the many infrastructure projects he undertook.
He was alleged to have acquired several foreign firms by illicit means in Senegal.
Karim Wade has been in detention since April 2013.
His arrest came after the new government vowed to tackle corruption.
– Antonia Velikova, Managing Editor