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Ire flares up at Kabul Bank defaulter’s release

Activists seek prosecution of official who set Ferozi free

AT-KABUL: Civil society activists, university lecturers and students on Saturday demanded of President Ashraf Ghani to prosecute those high-ranking officials who were involved in release of Khalilulah Ferozi, a Kabul Bank defaulter.

In a press conference they said that those who released Ferozi nearly a month ago and helped him to get the contract of Smart City construction project with Ministry of Urban Development Affairs (MUDA) should be brought to the court of justice.

Release of Ferozi from prison and signing of an agreement between the defaulter and MUDA had sparked concerns and criticism. General public and lawmakers accused the government of committing negligence in the anti-corruption campaign.

To calm the masses, President Ashraf Ghani suspended his Senior Legal Adviser Abdul Ali Mohammadi, canceled the agreement and ordered probe.

The activists claimed that several officials were involved in signing of the Smart City contract and release of the Kabul Bank defaulter. They stressed on arrest of these officials.

Addressing the press conference, a member of the Wolesi Jirga, Abdul Qayyum Sajjadi, said that President Ghani should not act based on political compromise in the case of Smart City.

He claimed that many high-ups are involved in the case of Smart City and release of Ferozi from prison but the president suspended only his adviser.

He stressed that if the government does not prosecute the other officials in this regard then it is violating the law.

During the signing ceremony of the Smart City contract, Ferozi told Afghanistan Times that he owes around $137 million to the Kabul Bank.

A special court in the Kabul Bank case sentenced Ferozi to 10 years in prison and ordered him to pay back the loan.

Abdul Ali Mohammadi told media that acting on verbal orders of President Ashraf Ghani, he directed the Ministry of Urban Development Affairs to sign the contract with Ferozi.

Kabul Bank crisis was one of the biggest corruption cases in the history of Afghanistan that brought this country on the top line of corrupt countries of the world.

Members of the civil society organizations asked the government to pursue the case of Smart City seriously and prosecute those officials who are involved in release of Ferozi.

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