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    AG summons election officials

    KABUL(PAN):  The Attorney General’s office on Saturday summoned the spokesmen of the two electoral bodies for violating election and Afghan laws.

    Summons letters have been sent to Noor Mohammed Noor, spokesman of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and to Ahmad Zia Rafat, the spokesman for the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC), the deputy Attorney General, Rahmatullah Nazari said.

    "By tomorrow, the two spokesmen should come to the Attorney General’s Office," he said.

    He warned that if they did not appear, prosecutors would question them at their offices.

    The letters come at a critical point in the post election period as the row between the Attorney General and electoral bodies has intensified over the investigation of 130,000 voided votes.

    Nazari said that Rafat was accused of meddling during the election in western Herat province while Noor was accused of violating the Afghan constitution.

    He said the IEC had announced 59 candidates as winners while their dossiers were among the 413 candidates the ECC had accused of fraud and election law violations.

    Pajhwok was not able to contact Noor, however, Rafat confirmed he had received the summons letter.

    "ECC will issue its stance about the issue soon," he said.

    Earlier on Saturday, the head of the complaints commission in the upper house of Parliament had called on the Attorney General’s Office to prevent election officials leaving the country before a full investigation was carried out.

    "It will be a precautionary measure to ensure justice," Zalmay Zabuli said, warning that if they did leave, then the Attorney General should not blame others.

    Zabuli also called on the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) to hand over a female foreign election observer who was seen taking a bribe during the September 18 parliamentary election.

    He said that the woman was being protected by UNAMA.

    However, a UNAMA spokesman, Nazifullah Salarzay, denied they were harbouring any one.

    Nazari confirmed that a foreign national was among the election officials being investigated for fraud, and that she was one of three who had been banned from travelling outside Afghanistan.

    The other two include the IEC's Information Technology person, Shafiqullah Kohistani, an Afghan and a foreigner who were not named.

    Nazari said he has video evidence of the foreigner taking a bribe.

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