Afghan prosecutor says he was fired for fighting graft
A senior Afghan prosecutor claims that he was fired by President Hamid Karzai last week because he refused to block high-level corruption investigations, The New York Times reported Saturday.
Fazel Ahmed Faqiryar, the former deputy attorney general, told the Times that that investigations of more than two dozen senior Afghan officials were being held up by Karzai, his Attorney General Mohammed Ishaq Aloko and others, dpa reported.
The blocked investigations involved cabinet ministers, ambassadors and provincial governors.
The Times said that Faqiryar's account had been corroborated by five unnamed Western officials who knew about the cases.
"We propose investigations, detentions and prosecutions of high government officials, but we cannot resist him," Faqiryar was quoted as saying of Karzai. "He wont sign anything. We have great, honest and professional prosecutors here, but we need support."
Karzai's chief of staff, Umer Daudzai, disputed the allegations, saying the president had "done his bit" making sure that justice was not "politicized."
In one of the cases, Karzai allegedly stopped the prosecution of his close aide, Mohammed Zia Salehi, who investigators claim had been wiretapped demanding a bribe from another Afghan seeking his help in scuttling a corruption investigation, the Times reported.