AT News Report
KABUL: Some lawyers and anti-corruption agencies on Monday have voiced concerns and lashed out at the Ministry of Interior (MoI) for inordinately delaying a multimillion dollar meat embezzlement case at the ministry.
Haji Malak Rasa, Head of the Shuja Abdara and Hamid Company and the “Meat Contractor” for MoI, arrested along with some high-level MoI officials on May 29 on charges of “stealing 600 million Afs ($7.5 million)” from meat supply in one year by over-billing the ministry.
The Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA) said that it led to further problems if corruption cases were not dealt with and processed within their specified time.
Sayed Ikram Afzali, the CEO of IWA, on Monday talked about increase political and mafia interferences in the case if it takes more time.
After at least two weeks since his arrestment, Haji Malak Rasa, is still in police custody.
Lawyers deem the referral of such cases to the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) after a certain period of time a crucial measure. Kabir Ranjbar, one of the law experts, said, “The police are not allowed to keep a person in custody for more than 72 hours. They are obliged to refer the case to AGO for further proceedings.”
Meanwhile, the Legislative Commission of the Mesrhano Jirga also stressed to act in accordance with the law in this regard.
Ghulam Mohaiuddin Munsif, the head of this commission, said, “it’s turned into a legislative problem to keep a suspect in excess of legal time and the officials should be careful not to act against the law.”
This is while Rohullah Sakhizada, the defense lawyer of Haji Rasa, confirmed to Radio Azadi that his defendant was still in police custody. “He is still in MoI custody. The MoI officials should respond as to why they haven’t referred the case to AGO as yet.”
The MoI declined to speak in this regard and the AGO said nothing as well.
IWA has praised MoI for its efforts to fight corruption, but emphasized that it should take swift and serious measures for eradicating administrative corruption.