The Central Bank of Afghanistan on Wednesday said that it has referred the files involving corruption cases against four sacked officials of the bank to the Attorney General’s Office for further legal proceedings.
This comes a week after the bank in a statement said that it had suspended at least four top officials for alleged involvement in corrupt behavior.
Taking bribes from a number of contractors and putting illegal influence on the members of the high council of the bank are the main charges that have were leveled against the four former officials.
In response, those sacked from their jobs accuse the bank’s leadership of conspiracy, saying the charges were cleared years in the past.
But the Central Bank leadership has defended the recent dismissals, saying they were legitimate and carried out because of a decision by the Supreme Council of the bank.
The dismissals were called “unconstitutional” by critics.
“These cases were assessed for five or six years and there were no criminal charges. But suddenly twenty to twenty-five criminal descriptions were added to them and they were used against us,” said Mohammad Qasim Rahimi, the former second deputy of the Central Bank.
The Central Bank statement also said that the former leadership of the bank had delayed the assessment of cases against the dismissed officials for a long time.
Nevertheless, legal experts have said that based on the Central Bank law, the bank’s assessment committee is an independent body and the bank’s governor is not a member, therefore the leadership of the bank could not have delayed the assessments.
“This is totally a political decision rather than an authentic and thoroughly-investigated decision. They want to bring their own people in and do whatever they want,” said Azim Mohseni, a member of parliament.
“The supervisor is independent to act and report back to the high council of the bank but not to the governor of the bank,” said Parwaiz Khalili, a legal expert in Kabul.
According to retired officials, "Shah Mahmoud Mehrabi, the head of the assessment committee of the bank and a member of the bank's high council, and Asil Khan Totakhel, the bank’s supervisor, were responsible for 'turning the minds' of the bank’s governor and the members of the bank’s high council."
On Tuesday, one of the fired officials, Sayed Younus Sadat, told TOLOnews that he was dismissed from his job after he refused to carry out the illegal recommendations and demands made by Asil Khan Totakhel, the bank’s supervisor.
Sadat said that the high council of the bank has "approved an increase in the salaries of the bank’s supervisor and the secretary of the high council nine months before the legal period"