Senegal ex-president's son starts hunger strike over trial

Karim Wade, nicknamed "the minister of heaven and earth" during his father's government because he controlled five ministries, is accused of illegally amassing a fortune

Senegal ex-president's son starts hunger strike over trial

World Bulletin/News Desk

The son of Senegal's former president Abdoulaye Wade has begun a hunger strike to protest at the conditions of his trial on corruption charges, one of his lawyers said on Thursday.

Karim Wade, nicknamed "the minister of heaven and earth" during his father's government because he controlled five ministries, is accused of illegally amassing a fortune of 117 billion CFA francs ($240 million).

Wade, who denies any wrongdoing, said at the opening of his trial in July that he was a "political prisoner".

The case has raised political tensions in the usually stable West African state.

Amadou Sall, a member of Wade's legal team, said his client was being denied the right to a fair trail.

"He is starting a hunger strike today because of the lack of respect for his rights - the right to a legitimate defence," Sall told Reuters.

Wade's lawyers boycotted a hearing on Thursday after Sall himself was expelled from a special anti-corruption court the previous day following a heated exchange with the presiding judge.

Government officials and prosecution lawyers say the trial sets an important precedent for African countries to try their former leaders themselves.

Last Mod: 16 Ocak 2015, 13:23
Add Comment