‘Minister of the sky’ gets presidential pardon
Karim Wade, the convicted son of former Senegalese president Abdoulaye Wade, has been released from prison in Senegal after being granted a presidential pardon.
Despite only serving three years of his full sentence, the pardon cancels the Supreme Court’s decision to jail him. A press release from the presidency said the payment of the fine was not covered by the pardon. The presidential decree included pardons for Wade and two others who had been sentenced for “illegal enrichment”.
Wade was flown to Qatar after President Macky Sall’s decree was announced early on Friday, it was reported.
His arrest came after the new government, led by Sall since 2012, vowed to tackle corruption. He was initially sentenced in 2012 to six years in prison and a fine of $240 million (R3.6 trillion) for illegally accumulating at least $200 million while serving as a minister during his father’s 12year rule. The court ruling said that Wade had hidden away funds in offshore companies. As a minister, Wade was in charge of major infrastructure and energy projects. His large portfolio led to him being dubbed “the minister of the earth and the sky”.
Wade had denied the charges and his supporters claim that the case against him was a political move.
The country’s main opposition party, the Senegalese Democratic Party, chose Wade as their presidential candidate for the 2019 polls while he was in prison.
It is unclear if he is still eligible to run for the presidency.
– Al Jazeera and agencies