Zakhilwal, ex-Kabul governor deny bank loans
KABUL (Pajhwok): The acting finance minister and a former Kabul governor on Tuesday rejected allegations that they had illegally obtained loans from the former Kabul Bank, saying they were ready to defend themselves.
The appellant court on Tuesday resumed an open hearing in the Kabul Bank case in presence of former chairman Sherkhan Farnood and CEO Khalilullah Ferozi.
The two former Kabul Bank officials had alleged that Mahmood Karzai, a brother of former president Hamid Karzai, acting finance minister and then chief economic advisor Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal, Khan Afzal Hadawal, central bank deputy head, and then Kabul governor Haji Din Mohammad had obtained illegal loans from the bank.
Zakhilwal, speaking at a press conference in Kabul, rejected the allegations against him. He said banks in Afghanistan did not fall under the authority of Finance Ministry.
“I can proudly and precisely say that I haven’t shared even a cup of coffee with Kabul Bank officials, that shows how much I was aloof from the bank’s matters,” he added.
He said if there was any evidence against him, he was ready to be held accountable.
Azizullah Din Mohammd also rejected if he had received money in loan from the Kabul Bank, calling the allegations as baseless.
He said he had been part of the campaign team of ex-president Hamid Karzai during the 2009 presidential elections dealing with political matters.
The bank plunged into deep crisis in 2009, when it lost $835 million in fraudulent property deals, massive off-book loans and credit to fake corporations, prompting the government to take over the bank’s affairs.
“I am not aware of any financial help the bank had extended to the campaign team,” he said.
Meanwhile, Senate Chairman Fazl Hadi Muslimyar stressed transparency in the court proceedings and called for those involved in the massive fraud to be punished.
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