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CIGAR claim about missing aid money rejected

CIGAR claim about missing aid money rejected

May 11, 2013 - 19:31

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): The Attorney General Office on Saturday rejected as groundless an American watchdog’s claim that $50 million in aid had been missing in Afghanistaninfo-icon.

The AGO Verification and Audit Department head, Sharafuddin Sharaf, told a press conference in Kabul a special committee that investigated the allegation of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstructioninfo-icon (SIGAR) found it incorrect.

Last week, SIGAR John F. Sopko reported $50 million in US aid to Afghanistan had been stolen and transferred to an account in the Bank-i-Milli Afghan. Sopko added he had informed the Afghan government to recover the money.

But Sharaf said the instigation of a three-member panel of prosecutors showed there was no US citizen’s account in the Bank-i-Milli Afghanistan (BMA.

Instead the $50 million amount was deposited Hikmatullah Shadman’s account in the Afghanistan International Bank (AIB), he explained. The government has frozen the money and investigated the man -- the director of a US military-contracted company.

Shadman had also been detained eight months ago by US forces on similar charges. But he was freed after 77 days of captivity and investigation, he said.

“The Attorney General Office has sent a letter to the foreign ministry, asking the US government to show documents in support of the claim. We have also shared the issue with ISAFinfo-icon and US forces in Bagram, but we have yet to receive any response from them,” Sharaf added.

Shadman, who was also present on the occasion, rejected the SIGAR claim. He confirmed his detention by ISAF last year in Kandahar, from where he was sent to Bagram prison on charges of financially supporting the Talibaninfo-icon and embezzlement in contracts.

According to Sharaf, the account of Shadman in AIB has been defrozen and he could use his money.


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