Afghan central bank governor who fled country to be prosecuted
The runaway governor of Afghanistan's central bank who resigned from his position while on a trip to the United States will be prosecuted, an aide to President Hamid Karzai said Tuesday.
Abdul Qadeer Fitrat resigned via telephone interviews with Afghan radio stations Monday, saying he feared for his life, DPA reported.
"We heard about him resigning through media, too, but we have not received his resignation letter formally yet," Karzai spokesman Seyamak Herawi said. "He has run away from the country and he will be under legal prosecution."
Herawi alleged that Fitrat was involved in embezzlement and concealment on the Kabul Bank issue.
The country's largest private lender and handler of the salaries for about 80 per cent of Afghanistan's civil servants and private accounts nearly collapsed last year with a run on deposits following the exposure of massive fraud at the bank.
Shareholders, including Karzai's brother, were accused of using loans from the bank to buy property in Dubai, a business market that later went bust.
Fitrat reportedly cited reprisals and political interference in his investigation of the nation's largest financial scandal. A panel formed by Karzai was probing the bank crisis.
Karzai said any wrongdoers would be dealt with by legal means but Fitrat said he would be targeted by his government as a scapegoat since he spoke out publicly about the fraud at bank. The attorney general, who was appointed by Karzai, had allegedly threatened legal action against Fitrat.
The government came under heavy international criticism after the revelation of the fraud.
The International Monetary Fund suspended financial assistance worth hundreds of millions in dollars partly because Karzai's administration refused to place Kabul Bank in receivership.
The scandal revealed chaos and corruption in the government at a time when US-led forces are looking to exit the country after nearly a decade of fighting Taliban insurgents.