News / Asia

Kabul Bank Heads Sentenced for Corruption

Sherkan Farnood, founder of Kabulbank, speaks in court in Kabul, March 5, 2013.Sherkan Farnood, founder of Kabulbank, speaks in court in Kabul, March 5, 2013.
x
Sherkan Farnood, founder of Kabulbank, speaks in court in Kabul, March 5, 2013.
Sherkan Farnood, founder of Kabulbank, speaks in court in Kabul, March 5, 2013.
Ayaz Gul
A tribunal in Afghanistan has sentenced two of the former heads of the country's first private bank, formerly named Kabul Bank, to five years in prison each for involvement in a multi-million-dollar fraud that led to the institution's collapse in 2010. But observers have criticized the verdict as too lenient given the extent of the fraud. 
 
The head of the three-judge Afghan Supreme Court special tribunal, Shamsul Rahman Shams, handed down the sentences in the presence of the defendants and independent observers.  
 
The judge said the court found Kabul Bank's former chairman, Sherkhan Farnood, and former chief executive officer, Khalilullah Ferozi, guilty of misappropriating $278 million and $530 million, respectively. He added the two men are each being sentenced to five years in prison and must repay the stolen funds. 
 
The senior bankers have been under house arrest for more than a year and, according to the court ruling, that period of detention is included in their sentences. They were among 21 Kabul Bank and government employees convicted for involvement in the corruption scandal. However, the other defendants were given lesser sentences.  All of the defendants have the right to appeal Tuesday's ruling.  
 
Representatives of Afghanistan's Independent Joint Anti-Corruption Monitoring and Evaluation Committee were in attendance during Tuesday's court proceedings. Its chairman, Drago Kos, criticized the punishment as "relatively light."
 
"We can describe our feeling about his verdict in one word: disappointment," he said. 
 
He said the recovery of the stolen funds will be difficult because the special tribunal did not register a conviction for money laundering, which would have permitted the confiscation of millions of dollars being held in foreign bank accounts. 
 
"The chances to recover the stolen money are limited almost down to zero because the court has not used the anti-money laundering legislation of Afghanistan," he said. 
 
Tuesday's judgment followed three years of detailed investigations into corruption that deprived the Kabul Bank of more than $900 million and triggered a financial crisis, civil disorder and a run on deposits in the war-ravaged nation. The bank was bailed out by the government and has since been renamed New Kabul Bank.
 
The Afghan special tribunal did not charge several other influential people allegedly implicated in the scam as shareholders, including a brother of President Hamid Karzai. 
 
Afghanistan's donors, led by the United States, have promised billions of dollars in aid after NATO forces withdraw at the end of 2014.  However, they are demanding the Karzai government bring the rising wave of corruption under control.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Haron from: Afghanistan
March 05, 2013 11:51 AM
it is not fair that Karzai's Brother (Wali Karzai) should be given awards of corruptions but these two persons must be sentenced for five by five years. these two persons spent all their budgets for presidential election campaigns to Karzai, but today they must have been prosecution. it is preferred to prosecute Karzai's and Fahim's brothers rather than these two persons. Karzai Family trees drink the blood of the Afghan people and western countries and still they're thirsty.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs