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Should Ferozi be released just before the elections?

15 Aug 2019 Salam Watandar

KABUL (SW) – A number of analysts believe Khalilullah Ferozi, one of the former shareholders charged for the Kabul Bank collapse, has been freed for political reasons.

A presidential election candidate, Rehmatullah Nabil, has said that Ferozi has paid $ 30 million to President Ashraf Ghani for his election campaign. He said this in a social media post.

Analysts have also raised questions over sudden release of Ferozi weeks ahead of the presidential elections.

Arif Keyani, an analyst, said that the sudden release of Ferozi at this moment in time indicates a secret deal. He said the release of Ferozi on the directives of President Ghani is against the law.

Yosuf Rasheed, head of the Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan, said in this regard that if Nabil has documented proof to back his claim, he should share it with election observers in the presence of media.

Meanwhile, Sediq Sediqqi, spokesman for the presidency, clarified that Ferozi has only be moved to his residence under custody owing to his deteriorating health.

Former Kabul Bank chairman Sherkhan Farnood, and the bank's CEO Khalilullah Ferozi, were jailed for five years in 2013. They appealed but have now each been sentenced to five years for money laundering and 10 for embezzlement.

The losses at Kabul Bank amounted to about 5% of the country's economy. Most of the money is yet to be recovered.

It was one of the world's biggest banking scandals, involving a brother of the former president, Hamid Karzai, the BBC reported.

The bank handled payroll for government employees like teachers and policemen, but had to be bailed out by international donors when the scale of the losses emerged.


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