Former minister of communication and information technology, Abdul Razaq Wahidi, says he has been asked to appear at a trial session on Tuesday – for the fifth time since 2017 – as the Supreme Court has overturned the ruling of appeals court of the Anti-Corruption Criminal Justice Center based on which he was acquitted last year.
Wahidi was sentenced to three years in prison on charges of corruption and misuse of authority in July 2018 but he was acquitted by the appeals court of the Anti-Corruption Criminal Justice Center in July 2019. He is accused of misusing his authorities when he was serving as the deputy finance minister in 2015.
Wahidi was nominated as minister of communications in 2015 and served as a minister until early 2017. He was accused of corruption in the collection of 10 percent levy on telecom services and was suspended from the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology in early 2017. However, he was acquitted by a special court in 2017.
Wahidi told TOLOnews on Monday, Feb. 10, that the Supreme Court decision to overturn the appeals court ruling on him was “a political plot.”
“When the game is not working in the political ground, conspiracies are started through which the ball is thrown in the court of the judicial institutions. The judiciaries are independent, they will not accept this (decision),” he said.
Wahidi said the allegations of the embezzlement of six million afghanis from a publication project of the Ministry of Finance was one of the main accusations against him.
“The order for publication (of the ID cards) was given by former deputy (minister of finance) before me and the bidding was done at that time, and I just continued the remaining process,” he said. “They say that the price for the cards was estimated Afs29 (about $0.5) and they say it is very high, but they say that they have found that the actual price is Afs1.33.”
The Presidential Palace and the Supreme Court did not comment on Mr. Wahidi’s remarks about politicizing of his case.
Article 26 of the Law on Organization and Jurisdiction of Courts says that “if a Supreme Court Dewan (Division) determines that the lower court ruling was contrary to the law, it shall overturn the ruling and remand it to the lower court for issuance of ruling. The Supreme Court Dewan may overturn a ruling which it observes as contrary to the law even if the breach is not mentioned in the appeal.”