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'Afghan AGO Failed to Act on High-Level Corruption Cases': MEC

The Independent Joint Anti-Corruption Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (MEC) on Thursday said that the Office of the Attorney General (AGO) has failed to take legal action against high-ranking government officials, particularly former cabinet ministers, for their involvement in corruption.

The MEC officials also said that even the establishment of the Anti-Corruption Criminal Justice Center (ACJC) has not proved effective in fighting the endemic corruption in Afghanistan.

From the six cabinet ministers, only one of them was held accountable, MEC said.

But the AGO office has denied the allegations, saying the entity has addressed several cases of corruption in the country involving high-ranking government officials since the start of the National Unity Government (NUG) in 2014.

“The Attorney General’s Office and the anti-corruption criminal justice center have not been successful in addressing corruption cases involving high-level officials,” said Mudasir Islami, the head of media and public affairs department of MEC.

“Ten deputy ministers went on trial, also 18 generals--among them three star generals--and 19 colonels, who were serving in high-level government positions,” said Jamshid Rasuli, a spokesman for the AGO.

Farooq Wardak, the ex-minister of education, Mohammad Jawad Paikar, the former acting minister of housing, and Humayoun Qayoumi, the ex-minister of finance, are among the high-ranking officials who have not been prosecuted for their involvement in corruption.

“I hope that fighting corruption will also be part of the intra-Afghan talks,” said Humayoun Humayoun, the former deputy speaker of parliament.

After assuming office as president in 2014, president Ghani vowed to put anti-graft among his top priorities. But no action was taken against major cases of corruption involving ex-government officials, including Ghani’s former minister of finance Humayoun Qayoumi.

There are allegations of corruption against some ex-governors and military officials, however, no legal action has been taken against these officials.

This comes hours after Da Afghanistan Bank--also known as Afghanistan's central bank-- in a statement said that it had suspended at least four top officials for alleged involvement in corrupt behavior. Their cases will be sent to the Attorney General's Office for further legal proceedings, the statement read.

Those suspended from their jobs have been involved in "seven cases of corruption," said the bank.

Also on Thursday, Mohammad Qasim Rahimi, second deputy of Da Afghanistan Bank, said in a Facebook post that Ajmal Ahmadi, the acting head of the bank, had dismissed him “illegally.”

“According to the recent decision of the Supreme Council of Da Afghanistan Bank, the highest decision-making authority of the Central Bank, the jobs of four high-ranking officials accused of corruption in seven cases, will be sent to the Attorney General's Office for further investigation,” the statement said.

“In order to keep the value of the Afghan currency and the modern banking system stable, serious action is needed to be taken against corruption in the first place, and the leadership of the Central Bank and the Supreme Council will take action against any corruption case in line with the law,” said the bank.

'Afghan AGO Failed to Act on High-Level Corruption Cases': MEC

From the six cabinet ministers, only one of them was held accountable, MEC said.

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The Independent Joint Anti-Corruption Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (MEC) on Thursday said that the Office of the Attorney General (AGO) has failed to take legal action against high-ranking government officials, particularly former cabinet ministers, for their involvement in corruption.

The MEC officials also said that even the establishment of the Anti-Corruption Criminal Justice Center (ACJC) has not proved effective in fighting the endemic corruption in Afghanistan.

From the six cabinet ministers, only one of them was held accountable, MEC said.

But the AGO office has denied the allegations, saying the entity has addressed several cases of corruption in the country involving high-ranking government officials since the start of the National Unity Government (NUG) in 2014.

“The Attorney General’s Office and the anti-corruption criminal justice center have not been successful in addressing corruption cases involving high-level officials,” said Mudasir Islami, the head of media and public affairs department of MEC.

“Ten deputy ministers went on trial, also 18 generals--among them three star generals--and 19 colonels, who were serving in high-level government positions,” said Jamshid Rasuli, a spokesman for the AGO.

Farooq Wardak, the ex-minister of education, Mohammad Jawad Paikar, the former acting minister of housing, and Humayoun Qayoumi, the ex-minister of finance, are among the high-ranking officials who have not been prosecuted for their involvement in corruption.

“I hope that fighting corruption will also be part of the intra-Afghan talks,” said Humayoun Humayoun, the former deputy speaker of parliament.

After assuming office as president in 2014, president Ghani vowed to put anti-graft among his top priorities. But no action was taken against major cases of corruption involving ex-government officials, including Ghani’s former minister of finance Humayoun Qayoumi.

There are allegations of corruption against some ex-governors and military officials, however, no legal action has been taken against these officials.

This comes hours after Da Afghanistan Bank--also known as Afghanistan's central bank-- in a statement said that it had suspended at least four top officials for alleged involvement in corrupt behavior. Their cases will be sent to the Attorney General's Office for further legal proceedings, the statement read.

Those suspended from their jobs have been involved in "seven cases of corruption," said the bank.

Also on Thursday, Mohammad Qasim Rahimi, second deputy of Da Afghanistan Bank, said in a Facebook post that Ajmal Ahmadi, the acting head of the bank, had dismissed him “illegally.”

“According to the recent decision of the Supreme Council of Da Afghanistan Bank, the highest decision-making authority of the Central Bank, the jobs of four high-ranking officials accused of corruption in seven cases, will be sent to the Attorney General's Office for further investigation,” the statement said.

“In order to keep the value of the Afghan currency and the modern banking system stable, serious action is needed to be taken against corruption in the first place, and the leadership of the Central Bank and the Supreme Council will take action against any corruption case in line with the law,” said the bank.

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