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Farkhunda case: Rahimi admits to police negligence

Farkhunda case: Rahimi admits to police negligence

May 03, 2015 - 19:30

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Kabul primary court on Sunday ordered the arrest of an Arabic-speaking Afghan and a police official who deliberately disrupted police communication system when a mob was beating Farkhunda.

Farkhunda, 27, was lynched by a mob in front of a well-known mosqueinfo-icon “Shah-i-Doshamshera, in the heart of Kabul after she was falsely accused of burning pages from the holy Quraninfo-icon.

The Kabul primary court on Saturday opened trial in the case and summoned eight high security officials to appear before the court at Sunday’s proceeding.

The officials summoned include Kabul police chief, Kabul crime branch police chief, chief investigative officer at the Ministry of Interior, Kabul communications director, a detective officer and an officer of the second police district, where the incident took place on March 19.

Police sergeant Noor Agha, one of the accused policemen, told the court that he was not in-charge of security of the area where Farkhanda was killed. However, he said he had arrested an Arabic-speaking individual at the scene.

He transferred the detainee to the 2nd police district station, but he was released in compliance with verbal orders from the Kabul police chief, he said.

Crime investigation chief of the 2nd police district, who had been fired, told the court said the Arabic-speaking person was Afghan and had recently been deported from Saudi Arabia.

Police Chief Lt. Gen. Abdul Rahman Rahimi told the court that the Arabic-speaking Afghan had been released with orders from the former Crime Branch Chief, Lt. Col. Shah Mohammad, and the bag he carried contained clothes.

Abdul Wahab, the Arabic-speaking Afghan, who was speaking in Arabic, told the court that he was resident of Zabul province and her mother was a Saudi national.

He possessed Afghanistaninfo-icon nationality and said he had recently been deported by Saudi police to Afghanistan. He showed his Afghan ID card and his father’s passport to the court in support of his claim. 

But judge Safiullah Mujadeddi said Wahab’s documents had not been properly examined and ordered the Attorney General Office, the census and passport departments to scrutinise his documents. He also asked the National Directorate of Security (NDSinfo-icon) to further investigate Wahab.

The court also issued arrest warrants for Lt. Farotan, who disturbed the communication system of police officials from his walkie-talkie serial No. 10100213.

Lt. Gen. Rahimi accused some police officers of negligence in duty to prevent the incident. “When we were informed about the incident, it was too late,” he added.

Brig. Gen. Farid Afzali, Kabul police criminal investigation department chief, also said it was too late when they came to know about the incident.

Mohammad Zahir, the Kabul communications officer, said on receiving information about Farkhunda’s murder through 119, he contacted police high-ups. He added despite disturbances in the communications, their system had been active.

Hasibullah, 2nd police district former chief, who is being tried for negligence in duty, said Kabul police officials should be arrested since they were equally negligent in their duties. He said he had informed the officials concerned on time.

The judge observed charm and amulet selling was the main reason behind Farkhunda’s killing. He asked the director of mosques at the Ministry of Hajjinfo-icon and Religious Affairs to appear before the court on Monday to provide details of the ministry’s initiatives against amulet sellers.

Fawzia Kofi, a lawmaker and member of the fact-finding commission, criticised the court head for not allowing everyone to express their views in the court.

Lt. Gen. Zahir Zahir, MoI chief investigator, said everyone involved in the killing should be punished and that he would not defend any accused.

He added police officers accused of negligence had managed to detain many criminals in the past and their punishment should not be severe.


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