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City of Banjul
Saturday, September 19, 2020

Manhandled, Karim Wade goes on hunger strike

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Karim Wade, who was an influential minister during his father, Abdoulie Wade’s tenure as president, made this announcement when he appeared before the anti-corruption court. 

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“I’ll stop when my rights are restored,” he said and told the judge: “Mr President, I want you and [President Macky] Sall to be responsible for everything that happens to me.”

Karim has been in jail for almost two years, accused by the authorities of corruptly acquiring a fortune of US$242 when he was ‘minister for the universe’ in his father’s cabinet. The former president’s son however said the charges are politically motivated, and his lawyers described the case as an attempt to prevent him from contesting against President Macky Sall, who defeated his father in 2012. 

While no significant progress has been made in his trial amid several failed schedules for start of hearing, Mr Wade has since been in detention as the court denied him bail. 

On Wednesday, when he appeared before the anti-corruption court for the start of the hearing, he was manhandled by Senegalese prison officers and sustained an injury on his knee in the process. Also, one of his lawyers was suspended by the court, prompting his other lawyers to walk out and did not appear at resumption of the trial yesterday. 

“What is happening with CREI [the anti-corruption court] is very serious,” he told the judge. “My rights have been violated for 3 years. Today, I am unable to defend myself.”

Meanwhile, the steering committee of his father’s party, PDS, of which he is touted as potential leader, Thursday organised an emergency meeting following the mistreatment incident. 

A media release issued by the coordinator of PDS, indicated that the party would institute a legal action against the government and hold a series of street protests next week. 

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