AGO probing allegations against mayor, MPs
KABUL (Pajhwok): A 12-member commission has launched investigations into allegations of corruption against the Kabul Mayor and some lawmakers, the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) announced on Sunday.
The Wolesi Jirga on Wednesday asked President Hamid Karzai to sack the Kabul mayor by Saturday, warning lawmakers would take their own decision in case the official was not removed.
Joined by Kabul residents, the legislators have been staging a sit-in since Wednesday on the premises of Kabul Municipality, seeking removal of Mayor Mohammad Younas Nawandesh. The municipality’s administration officials have since been on leave.
As their number increased, the protestors accused the mayor of involvement in land grab, corrupt practices and issuing permits for the construction of multistorey buildings in violation of rules, as well as execution of substandard roads.
But Nawandesh, rejecting the allegations, has accused the MPs of trying to blackmail him after he rejected their inordinate demands. However, he did not explain the illegal demands.
Attorney General Mohammad Ishaq Aloko told a press conference in Kabul that the protest had brought to a halt all activities of the municipality. He said the AGO had appointed a 12-member team after receiving a dossier from the Presidential Palace to probe the matter.
Aloko promised an impartial probe into the issue, saying the delegation was composed of criminal law attorneys. He added questions to be asked of the two sides had been prepared. Both sides have been asked to submit evidence in support of their claims.
He continued the Kabul Municipality had produced documents to the AGO against the Wolesi Jirga speaker, member Qais Hassan and a third person, accusing them of making some demands on the mayor.
The AG said Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi had been accused of demanding a piece of land from the municipality. Ibrahimi has a built a structure on a plot after obtaining legal documents from the former first-vice-president.
A day earlier, Ibrahimi told lawmakers he had not been involved in any illegal activity and was ready to answer allegations from the municipality.
The AG said Qais Hassan’s brother owned a township “Mirwais Mena” in Kabul. The residential scheme was supposed to be constructed on 165 acres of land, but it had been built on 350 acres. He said Hassan was barred from travelling abroad last year by the Ministry of Transport.
Pajhwok tried to contact Hassan, but failed.
Alako said the investigation was at the initial stage and details would be shared with the masses once the probe finished. He said the protesting lawmakers had formally and informally been asked to call off their protest, but they continued.
The MPs have also warned of making their own decision on the mayor’s fate if the government did not heed their demand.
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