Afghanistan asks Interpol to arrest ex-minister over graft

Afghanistan has asked Interpol to seek the arrest of a former acting cabinet minister accused of corruption and believed to be living in Britain, an official said.

Afghanistan asks Interpol to arrest ex-minister over graft

Afghanistan has asked Interpol to seek the arrest of a former acting cabinet minister accused of corruption and believed to be living in Britain, an official said on Sunday.

Afghanistan says up to 17 former and current cabinet ministers have had cases investigated by the attorney general, but has so far announced few actual prosecutions.

Afghan authorities believe Mohammad Sediq Chakari, who served briefly last year as the acting minister responsible for religious trusts and the pilgrimage to Mecca, is currently in Britain, said deputy prosecutor Fazl Ahmad Faqiryar.

The attorney general has issued an arrest warrant and through Interpol, the international police cooperation body, to detain Chakari, Faqiryar said.

"We are awaiting their response and I am not sure if Chakari has been arrested or not," Faqiryar told Reuters.

Chakari, who Afghan authorities believe has obtained British citizenship, is accused of abusing power and corruption. Prosecutors say $250,000 was siphoned off of fees to Afghans attending the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia last year.

Three officials of the ministry, who are also accused of being involved in the case, have been detained by the government.

Western leaders have become increasingly vocal in complaining about what they call the slow pace of Karzai's government's campaign against corruption.

Leader of Afghanistan since the occupation in 2001, Karzai acknowledges that corruption is rife in Afghanistan, but says the problem is mainly the fault of the West for mismanaging aid contracts.

Last month, U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates said his government must do more to clean up its own contracting methods.


Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 04 Nisan 2010, 13:45

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