Senegal media boss in custody after criticising president

Senegal media boss in custody after criticising president
A file photo taken on June 23, 2011 shows Sidy Lamine Niass (C) head of the press groupe Walfadri, talking with riot police in front of the National Assembly in Dakar.

DAKAR - The owner of one of Senegal's largest media groups has been detained after accusing President Macky Sall of building up wealth through corruption, the company said on Tuesday.

Sidy Lamine Niass, founder and CEO of Walfadjri, was taken into custody on Monday after being summoned to a police station in Dakar, company spokesman Abdourahmane Camara said.

Dakar police refused to comment and Camara said he wasn't able to specify the charges against his boss but local media said Niass was accused of "disturbing public order and insulting the head of state".

Niass said during an interview broadcast on Saturday by his television station that he had evidence of "illicit enrichment" by Sall, who was elected in March last year.

After defeating Abdoulaye Wade, who had been in power for 12 years, Sall declared personal wealth which included properties in Senegal and the United States and a fleet of vehicles and other assets shared with his wife, but didn't put a price tag on the portfolio.

Niass, whose company runs a newspaper and several radio stations as well as the television channel, was first summoned by Dakar police on Saturday but said the order was cancelled.

"I going to respond to this second summons, which is not legal but political. The government is trying to intimidate us," he told reporters on Monday as he headed to the police station.

Niass has been outspoken in his criticism of the various regimes that have run Senegal since independence in 1960 and held a rally calling for Wade to step down on the eve of last year's election.

Senegal has long been feted as a rare haven of democracy in Africa, though rights groups such as Amnesty In

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