All preparations have been finalized for the hearing of the case against suspects accused of kidnapping and sexually abusing Ahmad Eshchi, a number of sources from Afghan legal and judicial institutions said on Monday.
This comes amid growing calls for action involving President Ashraf Ghani’s first vice president general Abdul Rashid Dostum who is accused of kidnapping Eshchi and ordering his guards to torture and sexually abuse him.
Three consultations and pre-trial conferences have already been organized and a preliminary court is expected to convene its first legal session on the case in the near future, the sources said.
According to sources, Dostum as the main defendant, has not shown any cooperation regarding the investigation, but the court will issue a verdict against those who have shown readiness to appear in court.
The third and final pre-trial meeting was held on Sunday at the second district court of Kabul and it is expected that the court will hold its first legal session against seven of Dostum’s guards in the near future, said a source.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Eshchi, the former governor of Jawozjan province who claims he was abducted by Dostum and then tortured by his guards while imprisoned at his residence, has said the suspects did not appear at the pre-trial session despite arrest warrants having been issued for them.
“The prosecutor handling the case said that those who are not cooperating in this respect must be punished; their addresses are clear. Finally the prosecutor decided to issue arrest warrants so that they appear at the next session, otherwise, the court will issue its verdict in absentia,” said Eshchi.
“We can not say that a verdict should be issued against Dostum, the court verdict would be unclear because there are now legal reasons, in the laws of Afghanistan, about the trial of a First Vice President ... But from a political perspective, Mr. Dostum has come (to power) on the basis of people’s votes, so it could be a trial similar to the trial of a president,” said legal expert Ainuddin Bahaduri.
While a number of politicians see the case against Dostum as a politically motivated case, the presidential palace says government does not have any intention to fabricate political cases against anyone.
“There is no political intention behind any case within the legal and judicial institutions,” said President Ashraf Ghani’s spokesman Shahhussain Murtazawi.
Dostum’s office so far has not commented on the issue.
Dostum is accused of holding Eshchi hostage for sixteen days.