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Chief investigator serious crimes accused in human trafficking case

24 Mar 2021 - 19:41
24 Mar 2021 - 19:41

KABUL (Pajhwok): Chief Investigator Serious Crimes Abdul Razaq Ahmadzai is heading Anti-Corruption Serious Crimes Branch of the Ministry of Interior from the past two months at a time when he is accused in a human trafficking cased.

A preface of a case at the Attorney Office dealing with domestic and foreign crimes reads that three individuals —- Mohammad Aziz, Abdul Marouf and Abdul Latif have submitted a petition.

According to the petition Abdul Razaq Ahmadzai and a Tajik National Murad had asked Mohammad Ibrahim Popal who introduced himself as parliament affairs head at the previous Chief Executive Office for $84,000 against sending him to Europe.

According to the source, Mohammad Ibrahim had been arrested by the Serious Crime Branch and handed over to the Attorney General for more investigation after initial probe. He was declared criminal by a primary court in the 4th Police District of Kabul City on January 30/2020 in human trafficking case.

The preface of the case reads that after Popal, Abdul Razaq Ahmadzai was referred to the same Attorney Office for investigation. He acknowledged his responsibility and thus referred to the court of second Police District of Kabul City.

It is worth mentioning that in documents Ahmadzai’s first name is mentioned as Abdul Razeq while he in a video clip called him name as Abdul Razaq. He said he hailed from Samangan province, studied journalism faculty and led First Vice President Amrulah Saleh’s election campaign in last presidential election.

The state of allegations leveled against Popal and Ahmadzai, collected evidence and the investigation process showed that according to judicial inquiry, both Popal and Ahmadzai are proven guilty in a human trafficking case and according to criminal penal code 510 both need to go through judicial trial.

Article 511 of the criminal penal code says; “An individual indicted in human trafficking crime is entitled to jail up to 10 years.”

The case preface reads that the Kabul primary Attorney Office wrote to the primary court of second Police District that accused Ahmadzai and Popal should pay $84,000 to the affected person in the case and they should be punished. It was also asked that Murad, who is a Tajik national, should be held under investigation.

A letter from the Attorney General Office (AGO) reads that Abdul Razaq Ahmadzai, who is accused in human trafficking case is freed on the bail of Noorullah Sulaimanzai but his case was under investigation.

A letter from the primary AGO, to the investigation AGO wrote that accused Abdul Razaq Ahmadzai should  appear  to the court session dated February 17/2021 in the Kabul City Second Police District’s primary court through individuals who sought his bail.

Sulaimnzai, who sought bail for Abdul Razaq Ahmadzai, told Pajhwok Afghan News that he informed Abdul Razaq to appear in the country but he did not appear and he has no additional information about Ahmadzai.

Supreme Court Spokesperson Mohammad Fahim Qawim told Pajhwok Afghan News that this case did not fall under their jurisdiction and since the letters issued from the AGO it would be better to ask them.

The matter was also shared with the AGP spokesperson but he did not respond.

Legal Affairs Expert Mohammad Kabir Rangbar said: “A primary court is compelled to issue verdict on every case and the accused is considered indicted until the appellant court issue its verdict, adding that the appointment of an indicted person is in violation with the law.”

Pajhwok also reached to a close aide of Abdul Razaq Ahmadzai who shared the matter with Ahmadzai but did not respond to Pajhwok on the issue.

but MoI branch investigating serious crimes cited Abdul Razaq Ahmadzai as saying that he has not relation with Mohammad Ibrahim Popal not he is partner with him in a company. He also denied knowing Mohammad Aziz, Abdul Latif but Marouf and Murad Khan became witnessed in a $16,000 transaction.

“I signed in that transaction, I did not send anyone abroad. It is allegation and untrue,” he said.

In the case preface Mohammad Ibrahim had said that he don’t know the petitioner but he was a witnessed in a car purchasing transaction of Murad Khan Tajiki.

Mohammad Ibrahim Popal told Pajhwok that the dossier showed him a “victim” in the case and no justice department had approached his case.

According to him, he was arrested by serious crime police, but: “Once you look at the arrest warrant I have not signed or thumbed it, only one paper is produced by the police. The case is nothing more than a conspiracy.”

He said the court in 4th police district did not find him guilty of human trafficking.

“The case is based on allegations of several people for the purpose of extortion, the plaintiff’s documents including the case file have been overwritten and never provided by document providers.” “Those who transcribed my name want to extort money, something yet to be investigated. The perpetrators should have been punished in accordance with the first and second paragraphs of article 436 and article 443 of the Penal Code, which unfortunately did not happen.”

According to him, the person named Aziz had claimed that he (Popal) sold his car (the car was with him as safekeeping). Popal says Aziz sold his car using own handwriting and complained to the police chief that his car had been stolen from Qala-i-Fatullah and claimed that he had entrusted his car to him and that he (Popal) had sold it.

He said all the documents were included in the file, adding that according to the law, the plaintiffs, who should have been in prison “for false allegations and providing false documents to the judiciary, were released despite deceiving citizens of the country.

Mohammad Ibrahim Popal presented some documents to Pajhwok and said that he himself was a victim of human trafficking and that the same network kept his wife and two children in Tajikistan for ten months. He said the traffickers took $ 46,500 from him and, after exorbitant expenses, his family returned to the country.

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on January 13/2021 during a meeting with MoI, Attorney General and Anti-Corruption Investigation Centre officials said that Serious Crime Branch had deviated from its direction and its personnel started cooperation with criminals and grabbers.

Ahmadzai also endorsed release of other accused people from jail:

Two former air force officials, Gen. Amir Jan and Col. Zalmai had been prisoned over an embezzlement case, but they were released following a request from the first vice-president.

Anti-Corruption Justice Center (ACJC)’s special attorney office for countering administrative corruption, on January 18, in a letter to the Attorney General Office (AGO), said that seven people of the air force were accused of facilitating forgery and embezzlement and one on forgery and embezzlement.

ACJC’s first court issued verdict on eight figures of the air force on December 15, 2020.

Former defense ministry’s former chief of staff, Brig. Gen. Amir Jan Azizi was sentenced to two years and two months in jail, former air force commander for empowering recruitments, Col. Zalmai Amiri on 13 years jail, Brig. Gen. Sulaiman Shah on 13 years jail, Lt. Col. Sakh Ahmad on 16 years and three months and Col. Mohammad Ishaq on three years and three months for assisting in forgery and embezzlement, and Lt. Col. Raz Mohammad on seven years and four months jail as well as 96,363 Afghanis fine.

However, Lt. Col Mohammad Latif and Lt. Col. Zawtullah were declared innocent in the trial. The source sadi that Mohammad Ihsan, a pilot, Mohammad Zahir and Abdul Khaliq were under judicial scrutiny.

A document of the Ministry of Interior shows that Amir Jan and Zalmai were arrested by police in Kabul on February 9, but was released a day later of their detention. The source did not provide information about the detention of others accused in the case.

However, first vice-president, Amrullah Saleh, on December 21, 2020, in a letter to the president, said, “Amir Jan who was once the chief of staff of the air force, is sentenced to two years in jail based on a poor investigation that shows embezzlement of 2,000 liters of fuel by him which that even happened seven years ago. He is popular for his role the resistance era (Soviet invasion), and imprisonment of seven pilots alongside him could not be a good decision.”

In response to the letter, the president said, “Please direct judicial organs to send me the forgiveness of Gen. Amir Khan Jan and seven pilots; we should not weaken the morale of the air force, but empower them.”
doctor Abdul Kabir Ranjbar, a legal affairs expert, told Pajhwok that the judicial power was independent according to the article 116 of the constitution and it had the authority of processing cases and the president had no the right to interfere in judicial affairs until the final decision.

The article 348 of the penalty code says that special pardon could be made with a president’s decree based on which all or some sentences on an accused can be cancelled or changed to a mild punishment which mentioned in the law.

According to the article 350 of the penalty code, the president cannot exempt punishment form figures accused of murder, kidnapping for ransom, abduction, administrative corruption and drug smuggling.

However, a copy of a document shows that Anti-Corruption Serious Crimes Branch of MoI on February 10, a day after the detention of Amir Jan and Zalmai, in a letter said, “Based on the explanations of attorney office of the Anti-Corruption Justice Center, please take action for referring decree No. 15 of the December 15, 2020 for the release of two accused, Amir Jan and Zalmai, to the relevant sources for submission.”

This comes as Anti-Corruption Serious Crimes Branch’s appellate court in response to ACJC and AGO letters, in a warrant on March 18, said, “Based on the criminal executives law’s article 105, attorney office and the court can decide temporary release of a prisoner based on the authorities in its limits and request of the prisoner’s representative on bail against property or without it…”

Based on the warrant, High Council of the Supreme Court, has approved the regulation No. 485 on October 21, considering to the sensitivity of corruption cases. Based on this regulation, attorney offices and courts should avoid temporary releases of accused and suspected figures for effective control of corruption.

Pajhwok attempted to contact Jail Affairs Management spokesperson for comment about the release of Amir Jan and Zalmai, but no one responded.

Pajhwok also tried to contact Amir Jan and Zalmai about their views, but failed.

Thirty personnel of Nangarhar customs office and 10 workers of the Ministry of Urban Development and Land were also arrested on corruption charges about a month ago, but some of them are released.

The article 25 of the constitution states, “Innocence is the original state. The accused shall be innocent until proven guilty by the order of an authoritative court.”


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