Tags: Senegal | politics | Wade | trial

Campaigners Call for End to 'Illegal' Corruption Court in Senegal

Saturday, 07 Jun 2014 06:48 AM

Civil rights campaigners have called for a special anti-corruption court trying the son of former Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade to be disbanded, claiming it violates international law.

Karim Wade is due to go on trial on July 31, accused of corruptly acquiring a fortune of $242 million when he was a "super minister" in his father's Cabinet.

A group of campaigning organizations including the International Federation for Human Rights and the Senegalese League of Human Rights released a statement late Friday claiming the court did not conform with international legal standards.

"Fighting against corruption and illicit enrichment is legitimate but the (court) allows no possibility of appeal, and its rules and procedures reverse the burden of proof," Assane Dioma Ndiaye, president of the Senegalese League, said in the statement.

"Suffice to say that you are presumed guilty and it is up to you to prove your innocence."

Wade was charged and detained in Dakar in April last year, accused of having acquired companies, real estate and a fleet of luxury cars valued at $1.4 billion by corrupt means, although that sum was later greatly reduced.

Wade, who held so much power under his father that he was even dubbed the "minister of the universe," has said that the charges against him are "political and fanciful."

His lawyers claim that the case has been launched to prevent him running in the 2017 presidential election against the current head of state, Macky Sall.

The anti-corruption court tasked with judging Wade was re-opened by Sall after he beat Abdoulaye Wade in 2012 in a presidential election marred by violent protests in the West African nation.

"It is unfortunate that this body of another age was reactivated without being brought into compliance with the most basic principles of law and the rights of the defence," said Patrick Baudouin, of the International Federation for Human Rights.

 

© AFP 2017

 
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Civil rights campaigners have called for a special anti-corruption court trying the son of former Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade to be disbanded, claiming it violates international law.
Senegal, politics, Wade, trial
311
2014-48-07
Saturday, 07 Jun 2014 06:48 AM
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