Ex-minister imprisoned on graft charges

KABUL (TOLO News): Former Minister of Communications and Information Technology Abdul Razaq Wahidi was sentenced to three years in prison on corruption charges and misuse of authority related to his duty when he was serving as deputy minister of finance back in 2015.

He was nominated as minister of communications in 2015 and served as a minister until early 2017. He was once again accused of “corruption” in the collection of 10 percent levy on telecom services and was suspended from the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology in early 2017.

However, he was acquitted by a special court in 2017.

His case in the Ministry of Finance landed in the Supreme Court early in January and the final verdict was approved on Monday in which he was sentenced to three years in prison.

His case was under investigation by the Anti-Corruption Criminal Justice Center.

AGO spokesman Jamshed Rasuli said that Wahidi was taken to the Pul-e-Charkhi prison in Kabul on Monday.

Sources said that Wahidi was deputy minister of finance when he approved a contract of printing “thousands” of copies of cards for the Finance Ministry which cost AFs3, but he approved a contract which charged AFs29 for printing each card.

He said that seven others, including Azizulddin Shams former head of a government-owned printing press, Qahir Haidari a former deputy minister of finance, have also been sentenced to two to four years in prison.

On January 14, Wahidi told TOLOnews that the accusations are based on “baseless documents”.

Wahidi said the AGO has accused him of violating his job description when he was deputy finance minister.