KABUL Breshna Shirkat (DABS) officials to eight months in jail each over ‘false play’ in a power station project in Laghman province.
The three senior DABS officials, including a former procurement head and owner of a private company, had been earlier handed down three years jail sentence in the anti-corruption primary court.
The three were sentenced in a public court by the Anti-Corruption Justice Center (ACJC) in Kabul on Tuesday.
Sultani Khaknizhad, prosecutor in the case, said DABS former procurement head and current advisor, Shafiqullah, and two evaluators, Mohammad Hasib and Abdul Ghafor had committed false play in the contract for Karkar power station in Laghman province.
He said five companies had participated in the bidding process for the contract to supply 55 types of items for the power station.
But the three DABS officials recommended a company named Jalalian despite it had many problems.
“This company supplied only 17 of the 55 items required for the power station, causing the national kitty a 15.5 million afghanis and nearly $28,000 loss as result of the wrong recommendation,” he said, urging the court to uphold the three years jail punishment.
However, Nasim Kashaf, defense lawyer of the three officers, challenged the primary court verdict and said the government had suffered no losses in the contract.
“The contract was cancelled with the company before the government suffers any losses and the guaranteed money and purchased items had also been handed over to the government”, he added.
Kashaf said his clients were innocent. However, the jury said Shafiqullah, one of the accused, had in his written confession said the contract with Omid Jalalian Company was signed against ‘a luxurious trip’ to Tajikistan.
“Samadi, Sahel and the contracts manager, Yousuf Anwari, are also complicit in this ‘treason’”, he said.
However, Shafiqullah alleged they had been forced into writing confession. “After our detention by National Directorate of Security (NDS), we were kept in a room under -9 Celsius temperature for the first day and night.”
Shafiqullah added: “We then spent five days in the 4th department, a place I wish no one go there and on the last day, they forced us to write what they want in the inquiry, but in the final inquiry we cleared it that we were forced to write such statements.”
But the appellate court head, Anisa Rasouli, asked Shafiqullah: “Did your conscience accept it to trap other colleagues for the sake of your own freedom?”
Pajhwok Afghan News tried to contact NDS for comment about the issue, but failed.
Another accused officer said they recommended the company because it offered all items with reasonable prices.
At the end, the appellate court head, Anisa Rasouli, sentenced all the three DABS officers to eight months in jail each.
She said the convicts were not responsible for paying the contract money as they did not take it.
She added former DABS operation director, Eng. Shekib Ahmad Nisar, former DABS head, Abdur Razaq Samadi and former administrative and finance director, Ahmad Shah Sahel who were indirectly involved in the case were under prosecution.
Omid Jalalian Company’s official, Yousuf Anwari, and all others who somehow had a role in the case were also under investigation, she concluded.