A primary court in Kabul on Sunday sentenced Ahmad Yusuf Nuristani, the former head of the Independent Election Commission (IEC), former governor of Herat and an incumbent member of Afghanistan’s Meshrano Jirga, the Upper House of Parliament, to one year and one month jail term and AFs1 million fine.
The case prosecutor Payenda Adil said Nuristani had received AFs1 million through bullying from the former chairman of Milli Bus Enterprise while he was serving as the governor of western Herat province. He said the allegations against Nuristani have been proved following investigations.
He said the money was not transferred to the national treasury.
“Yusuf Nuristani demanded the amount from the chairman of the Milli Bus Enterprise by misusing his authority and by misusing the office of the governor and then he claimed to have had distributed the amount based on a list which is not credible to us,” said Payenda.
Nuristani was not present at the hearing, but his defense attorney rejected the verdict.
“My client was interrogated for 45 minutes even without a defense attorney. Secondly, my client is now at his 71 years of age,” said Mohammad Khalid Karimi, Nuristani’s defense attorney.
But the jury finally decided to issue its verdict on the case based on which Nuristani was handed 13 months jail term.
“Based on article 396 and code 17 and paragraph 237 of the criminal law, the jury has decided to hand Ahmad Yusuf Nuristani, son of Ahmad Khan, to one year and one month jail term and the repayment of one million Afghanis,” said Sher Aqa Munib, a judge at the court of the Anti-Corruption Criminal Justice Center (ACJC), which is assessing corruption cases that involve high-ranking officials.
“We are not satisfied with the verdict,” said Jaber Ahmad Akbari, another defense attorney of Nursitani.
Documents received by TOLOnews show that Nuristani was accused of misusing his authority twice while governor in Herat and was summoned to appear before the ACJC court in connection with the allegations but he failed to do so.
The documents show that the ACJC has issued arrest warrants against Nuristani in many occasions but that the Ministry of Interior failed to take Nuristani into custody.
According to the documents, Nuristani was twice summoned by the ACJC to respond to the allegations but when he failed to appear they issued arrest warrants.
The documents state that the ACJC warned police that if they do not arrest Nuristani, then the ACJC will make a decision based on the Criminal Procedure Code.
Nuristani was recently appointed as member of the Meshrano Jirga by President Ashraf Ghani.