The Anti-Corruption Criminal Justice Center (ACJC) has said it rejects the Attorney General’s Office embezzlement allegations over the construction of the wall of the Afghan embassy in the United States. The group cited technical and investigative shortcomings in its decision.
The indictment paper was returned to the Attorney General's Office, according to the ACJC.
There are also a number of contradictions in the text of the indictment paper. For instance, in the second page of the document, it states that the construction project of the embassy wall was suggested by Shad Mohammad Sargand, a former adviser to President Ashraf Ghani, but the third page states that the construction of the wall had been recommended by the Afghan embassy in Washington.
The indictment paper--which was seen by the media--claimed that former Minister of Finance Humayoun Qayoumi, former presidential adviser Shad Mohammad Sargand and Afghan ambassador to the United States Roya Rahmani embezzled $790,000 from the construction of a 70-meters-long wall at the Afghan embassy in Washington.
Sargand and Rahmani have both rejected the allegations.
“You will never find out that I signed any administrative document or remained involved in any contract,” said Sargand.
“The document was published and shared with the media by the Attorney General's Office, which is against the law,” said legal expert Abdul Subhan Misbah.
In the fourth page of the indictment paper, it says that first the construction of the wall was given to one company; however, the contract was later handed to another company.
But prosecutors have said that changing the contractors was aimed to pave the way for corruption.
The approval to grant the project to the second company was carried out by the National Procurement Authority (NPA) and President Ashraf Ghani has also signed it.
“Currently millions and billions of dollars are being embezzled in the country, but these are not investigated and only the case of the Afghan ambassador to the US is investigated, there can be political motives behind it,” said Aziz Mairaj, a former diplomat.
The paper also states that Roya Rahmani was not willing to respond to the allegations.
But Rahmani claimed that no one tried to reach her to respond to the allegations.
“In terms of implementing this project, I have not done anything in contradiction to the provision of the law and without directives from the center. So let the court decide on it,” said Rahmani.
TOLOnews made attempts to reach the Attorney General's Office and case prosecutors, however they were not prepared to comment about the contradictions in the document.