Senegalese Ex-Minister Charged with Corruption

Yahoo Contributor Network

The son of the former president of Senegal faces serious corruption charges, according to a special prosecutor in the country, the Associated Press reported on Tuesday.

Karim Wade, formerly the "super minister" of international relations, development, infrastructure, and air transport during the presidency of his father Abdoulaye Wade, is accused of allegedly misappropriating state funds.

Here's the latest information on the corruption allegations and the perception of corruption in Senegal.

* A panel of judges will begin looking into Wade's case on Wednesday, special prosecutor Alioune Ndao said, to find out how he developed a personal fortune valued at $1.3 billion.

* Reuters reported that Wade had been arrested on Monday.

* One of Wade's lawyers called the arrest "arbitrary," describing the arrest by saying that "they brought him a summons and they forcibly took him away," according to Reuters.

* Another lawyer quoted by Reuters said that "We presented 3,000 documents to prove the lawful origin of Karim's assets," in defense of the ex-president's son.

* Wade's father stepped down after losing to Macky Sall during the March 2012 election. Sall has pledged to fight corruption in the country.

* Karim Wade's posts had a total budget equal to one-third of the state expenditure, according to Reuters, while the AP said Senegalese referred to him as the "Minister of the Sky and Earth" due to his immense power and influence as Wade's right-hand man.

* Transparency International, a self-described "global coalition against corruption," rated Senegal 94 out of 176 countries according to its Corruption Perceptions Index for 2012. According to its survey of public opinion, 56 percent of people surveyed reported paying a bribe in the country in 2010, and 61 percent said the government's efforts to fight corruption were ineffective. 88 percent said the level of corruption in Senegal had increased.

* Political parties, the parliament, and legislature, and the police were seen as particularly affected by corruption in the West African country.

Shawn Humphrey is a former contributor to The Flint Journal and an amateur Africanist, focusing his personal studies on human rights and political issues on the continent.

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