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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 August 2005, 10:33 GMT 11:33 UK
Senegal ex-PM Seck faces trial
By Tidiane Sy
BBC News, Dakar

Former Senegalese PM Idrissa Seck, waving as he goes for police questioning
Idrissa Seck was seen as favourite to succeed President Wade
The Senegalese parliament has voted to try former Prime Minister Idrissa Seck in a special court.

Mr Seck was charged last month with threatening state security and embezzlement.

The allegations concern a $80m road project in his constituency. He has denied any wrongdoing.

The ex-prime minister was sacked a year ago, accused of trying to challenge President Abdoulaye Wade's leadership of the Senegalese Democratic Party.

A parliamentary vote was needed because Mr Seck was prime minister at the time of the alleged offences, and so can be prosecuted only in a special court.

Opposition dissent

Among 104 voting MPs, 69 MPs voted yes to the resolution, and 35 voted no.

The president of the national assembly said the bill was passed although opposition leaders say they believe the required majority was 72.

The vote enables a trial in the High Court of Justice, which sits only when government members are charged with serious offences or crimes.

This is the first time in 43 years that a case is being filed to this court.

Mr Seck is currently under arrest waiting for trial under a different charge, that of undermining state security.

The long list of charges against Mr Seck include corruption, embezzlement of public funds, possession of stolen goods, and usurpation of titles.

During the vote the name of a current government minister, Salif Ba, was added to the resolution of indictment and he will also have to face many of the same charges.


SEE ALSO:
Senegal police probe ex-premier
15 Jul 05 |  Africa
Country profile: Senegal
31 Dec 04 |  Country profiles


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