[JURIST] A special court in the Republic of Senegal [official website, in French] on Monday sentenced the son of former president Abdoulaye Wade [BBC profile] to six years in prison for corruption. Karim Wade was on trial on charges of corruption [JURIST report] and embezzlement of approximately USD $238 million.The corruption claim centers on Karim Wade’s acquisition of real estate and foreign companies, including Dubai Port World [corporate website], during his father’s 12-year term as president. Wade, 44, simultaneously served as Senegal’s minister for infrastructure, international co-operation, energy and air transportation from 2000-2012. In addition to his prison sentence, Karim Wade also was fined approximately USD $228 million. Karim Wade did not attend this final portion of his trial, and he continues to deny any wrongdoing [Reuters report].
Abdoulaye Wade, who served as president of Senegal from 2000-2012. Since Abdoulaye Wade exited office in 2012, a number of government officials in Senegal have been investigated for charges of illegal enrichment. Karim Wade’s imprisonment has received international attention. For almost a week, he has refused to attend court sessions [Daily Nation report] after one of his lawyers was expelled from a hearing, and his entire legal staff began boycotting proceedings. Last year Karim Wade referred [BBC report] to himself as a political prisoner during his first appearance in court for the corruption charges.