‘Min­is­ter of the sky’ gets pres­i­den­tial par­don

CityPress - - News -

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

Karim Wade

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