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Ferozi Accuses Zakhilwal of Playing Key Role in Kabul Bank Scandal

President Ashraf Ghani's deadline to the judicial institutions to finalize Kabul Bank's case is on Thursday, but the case has taken another spin as acting finance minister Omar Zakhilwal is said to have been part of the scandal.

In the two-day trial, the appellate court of Kabul on Tuesday announced its verdict with imprisoning the perpetrators and setting fines. However, some of the accused were absent during the hearing, but the verdict was announced on behalf of them.

According to the appellate court, the cases of the absent defendants would be reopened when present before the court.

The ex-CEO of Kabul Bank, Khalilullah Ferozi, accused acting minister of finance Zakhilwal, of involvement in the collapse of the bank.

"Zakhilwal must come and sit with us in the jail because he was involved in the collapse of the Kabul Bank," Ferozi said. "He had hands in all the cases and he was one of the main perpetrators."

Head of the judicial board addressing the case said the former chairman of Kabul Bank, Sherkhan Farnood, presented them with a list of 227 people including government officials accused of taking the bank toward a crisis.

"Now it is the responsibility of the Attorney General to make sure whether the listed persons were really involved in the case," Merajuddin Hamed, head of the judicial board, said.

However, Zakhilwal has rejected the claims as baseless, stressing that it is common in Afghanistan to make accusations against anybody.

"I can also make accusation against hundreds of people, but it must not be publicized," Zakhilwal said. "The accusations must be analyzed and should have complete data."

The analysts, however, emphasize that every one accused in the case must be investigated by the judicial institutions.

Based on the court verdict, Farnood and Ferozi were sentenced each to 10 years in jail.

In addition to his 10 year sentencing, Farnood was also fined $237 million. The assets of Mahmood Karzai, brother of former President Hamid Karzai, and Hasin Fahim, brother of late Marshal Qasim Fahim, were also frozen by the court.

Kabul Bank, once the country's largest financial institution, collapsed in 2010 when it was revealed that over $900 million was embezzled by the bank's top executives.

The revelations led to a depositor panic that received international attention and helped give Afghanistan the reputation for corruption that it has today.

Ferozi Accuses Zakhilwal of Playing Key Role in Kabul Bank Scandal

President Ashraf Ghani's deadline to the judicial institutions to finalize Kabul Bank's case is on

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President Ashraf Ghani's deadline to the judicial institutions to finalize Kabul Bank's case is on Thursday, but the case has taken another spin as acting finance minister Omar Zakhilwal is said to have been part of the scandal.

In the two-day trial, the appellate court of Kabul on Tuesday announced its verdict with imprisoning the perpetrators and setting fines. However, some of the accused were absent during the hearing, but the verdict was announced on behalf of them.

According to the appellate court, the cases of the absent defendants would be reopened when present before the court.

The ex-CEO of Kabul Bank, Khalilullah Ferozi, accused acting minister of finance Zakhilwal, of involvement in the collapse of the bank.

"Zakhilwal must come and sit with us in the jail because he was involved in the collapse of the Kabul Bank," Ferozi said. "He had hands in all the cases and he was one of the main perpetrators."

Head of the judicial board addressing the case said the former chairman of Kabul Bank, Sherkhan Farnood, presented them with a list of 227 people including government officials accused of taking the bank toward a crisis.

"Now it is the responsibility of the Attorney General to make sure whether the listed persons were really involved in the case," Merajuddin Hamed, head of the judicial board, said.

However, Zakhilwal has rejected the claims as baseless, stressing that it is common in Afghanistan to make accusations against anybody.

"I can also make accusation against hundreds of people, but it must not be publicized," Zakhilwal said. "The accusations must be analyzed and should have complete data."

The analysts, however, emphasize that every one accused in the case must be investigated by the judicial institutions.

Based on the court verdict, Farnood and Ferozi were sentenced each to 10 years in jail.

In addition to his 10 year sentencing, Farnood was also fined $237 million. The assets of Mahmood Karzai, brother of former President Hamid Karzai, and Hasin Fahim, brother of late Marshal Qasim Fahim, were also frozen by the court.

Kabul Bank, once the country's largest financial institution, collapsed in 2010 when it was revealed that over $900 million was embezzled by the bank's top executives.

The revelations led to a depositor panic that received international attention and helped give Afghanistan the reputation for corruption that it has today.

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