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    Farnood's appeals ignored: lawyer

    KABUL (PAN): Lawyer for Kabul Bank's founder and former chairman Sherkhan Farnood on Sunday accused officials of a special tribunal of "unjust behaviour" and paying no attention to his client's complaints and appeals. 

    Farnood and Khalilullah Frozi, the bank's former chief executive, are suspected of having stolen the most from Kabul Bank, and they are being tried alongside a number of Kabul Bank executives who helped carry out or cover up the theft of nearly $900 million in cash and assets.

    About 22 people have been accused in the fraud and tried since November 2012 by the Special Tribunal on Kabul Bank's Collapse. At three hearings, 18 people, including Farnood and Ferozi, had appeared before the tribunal to defend themselves against the charges.

    On Monday, four ex-Kabul Bank officials, including Mohammad Tariq Miran, Kamal Nassir, Kror, Mahbob Shah Frotan and Wahidullah Ferozi, appeared before the court.

    Farnood's lawyer Sibghatullah Tamim told a news conference in Kabul that the special tribunal was to deliver its verdict next week, despite many aspects of the scandal remained unclear.

    He said it remained unclear how much loans were to be paid by shareholders and how much by borrowers. “The loans should have been specified and made known before a final verdict is delivered,” he said, accusing the tribunal of not acting on his client's appeals.

    He said the tribunal was all set to declare its decision this week based on what he said an ambiguous lawsuit by the Attorney General Office. He said an unjust verdict could create more problems and further complicate the issue.

    The lawyer claimed the tribunal had rejected his client's appeal to give him a month time to provide information about loans and borrowers and present that before it.

    Tamim said all information about the scandal was available in the bank's record, but the court did not allow his client to present the record under pressure from "powerful circles."

    He alleged a huge amount of money had been withdrawn from the bank for the last presidential elections. Tamim said the government and the special court had failed to conduct a fair inquiry into the scandal because family members of senior officials were complicit.

    The tribunal head, Shamsur Rahman Shams, recently told the Radio Liberty that they had given a 9-month deadline to accused individuals to defend themselves against the charges, but they failed to do so. 

    President Hamid Karzai’s brother Mahmood Karzai and first vice president Marshal Fahim’s brother, Husain Fahim had returned their loans to the bank.

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