DE RUEHDK #0433/01 0531403
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 221403Z FEB 06
FM AMEMBASSY DAKAR
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4308
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 DAKAR 000433
STATE FOR AF, AF/W, AF/RSA, INR/AA, INR/B AND DRL/PHD
PARIS FOR POL - D'ELIA
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/21/2026
SUBJECT: PRIME MINISTER SALL COMMENTS ON SECK CASE AND
REF: A. DAKAR 0418
B. DAKAR 0316 AND PREVIOUS
Classified By: CDA Robert P. Jackson for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).
1. (C) Senegalese Prime Minister Sall remains convinced that
former Prime Minister Idrissa Seck embezzled funds and
illegally enriched himself at the Senegalese people,s
expense. Although Seck,s legal team vehemently denies that
Seck and President Wade reached any deal, Sall says that Seck
agreed to return some funds. Seck,s future in the ruling
PDS and future prosecution probably hinge on Wade,s
calculations of how much he needs Seck to win reelection.
Sall made it clear that he has no desire to be in a party
with a rehabilitated Seck, who Sall thinks belongs in jail.
For his part, Seck is reportedly focused on &sopi8
(change), the platform that brought Wade and the PDS to
power. END SUMMARY.
2. (C) Charge met with Prime Minister Macky Sall for over an
hour on February 20. Much of the conversation focused on
corruption in Senegal and the &Idrissa Seck/Chantiers de
Thies8 (Thies Public Works) case. Sall initiated the
dialogue about corruption. Sall remains convinced that Seck
conspired with Sud Communications journalist Latif Coulibaly
to discredit President Wade as an evil murderer in
Coulibaly's two latest books. Sall said the Government had
mishandled the Seck case, forcing it to drop the state
security and irregular correspondence charges. However, Sall
confirmed that the charges of illegal enrichment and
embezzlement are still pending, and he believes they have
merit. Moreover, he said that the Government is pursuing
investigations in France and has transmitted letters rogatory
to the Government of Switzerland to identify embezzled funds
that may have been deposited in Swiss banks. In fact, Sall
alleged that Seck had agreed to return funds to Senegal as a
condition for his release )- something Seck,s legal team
has adamantly denied.
3. (C) Sall said that the Seck/Chantiers de Thies case is
the most egregious example of corruption in Senegal. Sall
continues to believe that prosecuting Seck is necessary in
order to attack corruption in Senegal. Charge told the Prime
Minster that U.S. concerns center on the fairness and
transparency of the process.
4. (C) For its part, Seck,s legal team has insisted that
there was no deal. Seck,s lawyers claim that President
Abdoulaye Wade has badly wanted a deal since December.
Seck,s lawyers allege that Wade initiated negotiations
through Ousmane Seye and that Seck,s lawyers served as
intermediaries. However, they insist Seck never agreed to
any terms -- even as the proposals became more favorable to
him over time. Part of the reason, Seck reportedly allowed
negotiations to occur was to develop evidence that Wade
believed he )- not the courts -- controlled Seck's fate.
Seck finally took the position that he would have further
discussions directly with Wade after he was completely
cleared of the charges. Seck refused to ask for a
provisional release on the grounds that he knew he was
innocent and he would only be satisfied with unconditional
dismissal. Furthermore, the lawyers allege, since there was
no deal, there was no promise or understanding of any sort
that Seck will not run for President in 2007. They say it is
something he is considering.
SECK, THE PDS AND SOPI
5. (C) Regarding the Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS), Sall
said that he has spent months rebuilding the party and
eliminating &Seck,s party within a party.8 If Wade
brought Seck back into a leadership position, Sall said he
might have to resign because he does not want to be
associated with an embezzler. Seck,s lawyers assert there
is no agreement or understanding on his future in the PDS.
Seck,s lawyers say that he will continue to talk about
&sopi" (change). Historically, sopi underlay the
development of the PDS, and Wade and Seck were the driving
forces. Sopi is based on a set of values -- democracy, good
governance, raising the status of women and others. Sopi has
been the PDS,s platform, but it need not belong to the PDS.
Seck has no need for a new party because if the PDS no longer
embraces Sopi, other existing parties can. For Seck, Sopi
will now include legal reforms, such as judicial
independence, changes in state security laws, and pre-trial
DAKAR 00000433 002 OF 002
detentions, to which Seck can speak with direct experience
and deep conviction. Seck, who is fond of analogies,
reportedly compares the PDS to a temple to Sopi. In recent
years, the temple has gotten dirty; if it cannot be cleaned,
then a new temple will have to be built.
6. (C) Probably only Wade, Seck and a few other people
currently know the nature of any deal that was made on
Seck,s release from prison. For now, Prime Minister Sall
seems intent on keeping the embezzlement and illegal
enrichment charges alive. We note, however, that Sall said
nothing about Karim Wade, who is both in the Government and
the PDS. Whether Karim,s father, President Wade, believes
that he needs Seck or Sall most may determine both of their
fates as the February 2007 elections draw nearer. END
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