Karzai angry over allegations against aid

Karzai angry over allegations against aid

Bribery charges involving a top adviser to President Hamid Karzai has angered the Afghan leader and threatens to damage US relations with Kabul, Press TV reported.

The recent arrest of Mohammad Zia Salehi, the chief of administration for Afghanistan's National Security Council, has risen tensions between the US and Hamid Karzai, AP reports.

Salehi was arrested in July, but has not been formally charged for allegedly accepting a car in exchange for his help in thwarting another corruption case involving a company that handles huge money transfers worldwide.

Karzai was outraged by the arrest of his top aid, so he intervened and ordered his release.

During the next following days, Karzai has bluntly criticized US war strategy and ordered private security companies in the nation to disband in four months.

He also signed off on the forced retirement of a veteran corruption-fighter, Deputy Attorney General Fazel Ahmed Faqiryar, amid allegations by the ousted prosecutor and others that cases against high-ranking government officials were being blocked.

US officials have been pressing Karzai to step up efforts to root out corruption, and he has pledged to do that.

Gen. David Petraeus, the top commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, told AP Tuesday, that "What we are seeking to do is to encourage the development of good governance -- that which serves the people rather than that which preys on the people."

Karzai has ordered a review of the conduct of Afghanistan's Major Crimes Task Force and Sensitive Investigative Unit, who were both involved in the arrest. The two units, which are mentored by US and British law enforcement officials, investigate corruption allegations against high-level Afghan government officials and then feed cases to Afghan prosecutors.

Attorney General Mohammad Ishaq Aloko wrote a retirement letter for Faqiryar, saying the 72-year-old prosecutor had exceeded 40 years of government service allowed by law. Karzai accepted it and Faqiryar was out of a job.

Faqiryar, disputed the length of his government service, and said he wanted to continue to work. He said the cases against three or four former Cabinet ministers had been completed but were put on hold and had not been sent to the country's courts.

According to Ahmad Beg Qadiry, the new prosecutor who replaced Faqiryar, there has been no change in the Salehi case and he will continue looking into the corruption allegations of Zia Salehi.

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