Senegal’s ex-president Wade returns ahead of son’s graft trial

DAKAR (Reuters) – Senegal’s former President Abdoulaye Wade returned to the West African country late yesterday amid tight security at the airport, two days later than planned due to flight problems that his party blamed on the government of successor Macky Sall.

Wade’s return was delayed after his hired jet was stuck in Morocco, prompting accusations from the opposition Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS) that the flight had been refused permission to land in Dakar on Wednesday.

A government spokesman denied that authorization for Wade’s jet to land had been refused, saying no request had been received ahead of time.

Wade, 87, has been living in France for the past two years since his election defeat. A Reuters witness at the airport said he declined to use the airport VIP lounge after disembarking, choosing instead the exit like other passengers.

His return has heightened tensions in one of Africa’s most stable democracies. His son Karim faces corruption charges.

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