25 June 2016
Karim Wade, son of Senegal’s former President Abdoulaye Wade, was released from prison on Friday after being granted presidential pardon, a spokesman for President Macky Sall, and Wade’s lawyer, Amadou Sall, said on Friday.
Wade, who served three years in prison, was convicted on corruption charges in 2012, sentenced to six years and ordered to pay a fine 240 million dollars (N68 billion) for illegally accumulating at least 200 million dollars (N56.4 billion) while serving as a minister during his father’s 12-year rule.
The presidential decree included pardons for Wade and two others who had been sentenced for “illegal enrichment’’.
A press release from the presidency added that payment of the fine was not covered by the pardon.
Wade’s lawyer Amadou Sall said his client left the West African country immediately after his release and flew away to Qatar.
When President Sall was elected in 2012 he pledged to fight corruption, but opposition members and critics said the decision to imprison Wade was a political move intended to eliminate dissent.
A United Nations panel also criticised the government last year, saying that Wade had been detained arbitrarily and called for the payment of unspecified compensation to the former head of four ministries.
Wade’s Senegalese Democratic Party chose him as its presidential candidate for the 2019 polls while he was in prison but it was not immediately clear whether he was still eligible for the post.