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

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

After Nearly 2 Years, Pistorius Remains Elusive

Reporter Anita Powell reflects on her experience covering the Olympic athlete's murder trial More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults 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.
Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africai
X
Luis Ramirez
September 15, 2014 11:01 PM
President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africa

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid