KABUL (Pajhwok): Reacting to former Independent Election Commission chief Ahmad Nuristani’s conviction by a US court, the Afghan government on Monday said “crime is a personal act.”
“Crime is a personal act, nobody is above the law anywhere,” wrote Presidential Spokesperson SediqSediqi in his twitter account.
He said Yousuf Nuristan has Afghan and US citizenship. “If he has broken law in the US, the judicial organs of that country have the right to try him and convict him”, he added.
Nuristani has pleaded guilty in the US federal court to Theft of Public Money, admitting that he received over $100,000 in government benefits by concealing foreign travel and residency between July 2015 and December 2018, a statement from the US Justice Department said on Sunday.
During a hearing before US Magistrate Judge Karen S. Crawford, Nuristani admitted that he applied for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) from the Social Security Administration in July 2015.
Nuristani acknowledged that he knew an SSI recipient must reside within the United States, and that he was required to report any travel outside of the United States lasting more than thirty days.
Nuristani admitted to concealing and repeatedly lying to the Social Security Administration about his foreign travel and residency, and to receiving $27,492.44 in SSI payments and to causing a loss of $73,090.34 to the State of California for health care payments and services as a result of his fraud.
Nuristani, 71, is a former Fulbright Scholar and has been a prominent politician in Afghanistan for many decades.
He has previously served as the governor of Herat province, and was the chairman of the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan during their last presidential election.