News / Asia

Former Afghan Bank Chief Faces Charges

Afghan Central Bank Governor Abdul Qadir Fitrat
Afghan Central Bank Governor Abdul Qadir Fitrat

Afghanistan's deputy attorney general says the former head of the country's central bank, who resigned and fled the country, faces charges and will be prosecuted.

Central Bank Governor Abdul Qadir Fitrat left Afghanistan for the United States and stepped down from his post Monday, saying he feared for his life after investigating the corruption scandal involving Kabul Bank.

But Deputy Attorney General Rahmatullah Nazari told reporters in Kabul Tuesday that an arrest warrant for Fitrat has been sent to Interpol and the U.S. embassy in Kabul to return Fitrat to Afghanistan for questioning.

Nazari says Fitrat failed to act when warned by Afghan officials of widespread irregularities at Kabul Bank, and that he had a role in the crisis.

Kabul Bank, Afghanistan's largest private lender, lost more than $900 million in funds and nearly collapsed last year due to alleged mismanagement, cronyism and questionable lending.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai's brother and Vice President Mohammad Qasim Fahim's brother are both shareholders in Kabul Bank.

Fitrat said Tuesday that he is innocent of all charges filed by the Afghan government.  He said the central bank has a track record of doing its job, including shutting down poorly run banks.

Video: Afghan banker explains why he left

In an interview with VOA, the former central bank chief says he feared his life was in danger from those he tried to prosecute for "stealing millions" from Kabul Bank.  

Fitrat also said that there is evidence showing an elaborate scheme to funnel Kabul Bank money into the hands of corrupt individuals.  He did not mention any names when asked who was behind the corruption, but added that graft reaches "the highest office."

President Karzai's spokesman, Waheed Omar, called Fitrat a "runaway governor" Monday and disputed claims that he left the country because his life was in danger.

Omar said the former central bank chief did not go through official channels to resign, but instead escaped the country.  

Kabul Bank handles the salaries of Afghan soldiers, police and teachers.

The financial fiasco has caused some international donors to question the stability of Afghanistan's financial system, just as the country is trying to take on more responsibility for security and development.

The International Monetary Fund has decided not to renew its support program until the Afghan government takes concrete steps to resolve the Kabul Bank crisis.  Tens of millions of dollars in aid from foreign donor nations has been subsequently withheld from Afghanistan.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

You May Like

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid