MEC faults special court’s ruling
KABUL (PAN): The special tribunal’s verdict in the Kabul Bank fraud case would not help recover the stolen money, the Independent Joint Anti-Corruption Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (MEC) said on Tuesday.
“While MEC respects the independence of the Special Tribunal, there are several alarming developments resulting from the judgment,” a statement from the committee said.
It noted with concern the sentences handed down to the bank’s ex-chief executive officer and then chairman, who were both given five-year prison terms and ordered to pay back the millions they had stolen.
“However, the jail terms are relatively light given the extent of the fraud and sentences handed down to others who appear to have had little or no involvement in the fraud,”
According to the MEC, the tribunal did not register a conviction for money-laundering, which would have brought an order for the confiscation of millions of dollars being held in off-shore accounts.
Drago Kos, the MEC chair, stated: “Today was a disappointment for the resolution of issues resulting from the Kabul Bank fraud. International standards require sanctions that are proportionate, dissuasive and effective.
“We feel that this is lacking in the judgment issued today. Even worse for the Afghan people, this judgment fails to take advantage of provisions in the Anti-Money Laundering Law that would facilitate recovery of the missing money.”
However, MEC noted with satisfaction the court’s indication that there were 29 individuals who had been identified for investigation for their suspected involvement in Kabul Bank-related crimes.
“This is consistent with MEC’s recommendation from the report of the public inquiry into the Kabul Bank crisis, which states that the Attorney General’s Office should consider initiating criminal investigations of a larger group of people…”
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