Attorney General defends performance but critics remain skeptical

KABUL (TOLO News): The Attorney General of Afghanistan Farid Hamidi at a press conference on Monday briefed the nation about his one-year activities where he said his office has managed to assess at least 42,000 cases last year.

Calling his achievements a breakthrough in Afghanistan’s judicial system, Hamidi said that the Anti-Corruption Criminal Justice Center – which has the responsibility of handling big corruption cases – issued penalties on at least 67 high-ranking officials, among them 16 army and police generals and seven deputy heads of various organizations over their involvement in corruption.

From almost 7,000 suspected fugitives, Hamidi said, 1,271 of them have joined insurgent groups while the body implemented its order on 3,000 others.

The Attorney General’s Office has issued verdicts on at least 212 suspects last year, Hamidi said, adding that investigations are ongoing on the allegations of sexual abuse of woman members of Afghanistan’s Football Federation.

The issue against members of Afghanistan Football Federation was raised by a member of the Afghan Football Federation, Khalida Popal, last December, who claimed that woman members of the federation were abused physically and sexually by male members of the authority at its headquarters and at a training camp in Jordan in 2016.

“A delegation is in Europe for further assessment of the case so that it is carried out with more transparency,” Hamidi clarified.

Hamidi said that law was not implemented on 7,000 suspects over the past several years. “At least 1,271 suspects have been identified who have gone in areas under control of opponents and they are under legal investigation. Forty-six of them joined the opponents. Fifty-four of them died, while 3,000 others were tackled legally,” said Hamidi.

Some monitoring organizations, meanwhile, criticized the Attorney General’s Office for having “failed” to assess corruption cases.

“There is accountability gap in judicial institutions and there is no organization to monitor their activities,” said Nasir Taimuri, a researcher at Integrity Watch Afghanistan.

Critics say that the Attorney General’s Office has “failed” to complete its legal proceedings on certain cases, including the alleged sexual and physical abuse of woman footballers by members of the Afghanistan Football Federation violation of law by a strongman Musa Tarakhail and allegation of corruption against Khudai Nazar, former secretary of the Wolesi Jirga, the Lower House of the Parliament.