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Ghani suspends his legal advisor involved in Smart City project

Ghani suspends his legal advisor involved in Smart City project

Nov 18, 2015 - 11:54

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has suspended his legal advisor Abdul Ali Mohammadi and ordered an investigation into a multimillion dollars township construction project in Kabul.

The project called Smart City is being constructed by Khalil Ferozi, former Kabul Bank chief executive, who has been jailed and fined for stealing millions of dollars from the bank that almost collapsed some years back.

A presidential decree issued on Tuesday ordered a halt to work on the Smart City project, which was lunched a couple of weeks earlier. The president also ordered better management of the Kabul Bank loan recovery process.

The decree has five points, including one about the creation of a commission under the leadership of Syed Ghulam Hussain Fakhri, head of the anti-corruption department. Mohammad Yasin Usmaniis also a member of the penal.

The second article of the decree requires the commission to investigate illegal activities of the individuals involved in the recovery of Kabul Bank’s money, contract for the Smart City project and involvement of Mohammadi.

Article 3 clearly states the construction contract signed between the Ministry of Urban Affairs and some companies was no more valid. Kabul Bank’s off-book loans must be recovered in a transparent manner.

Article 4 concerns the suspension of Ghani’s his legal advisor Abdul Ali Mohammadi. The last point is about cooperation and assistance with the investigating commission.

The president directed all departments concerned to fully cooperate with the investigation commission in sharing and evaluation of necessary documents.

Earlier, Ferozi, who was convicted last year in the massive banking fraud scandal, launched work on the ambitious township project -- involving an initial investment of $98 million -- in the heart of the nation’s capital.

Ferozi and Sher Khan Farnood -- founder of what has come to be dubbed as a piggy bank -- had been convicted on charges of defrauding the bank of nearly a billion dollars.

Each was sentenced to 10 years in jail in December 2014. One of the leading Afghan tycoons, Ferozi is said to be serving his jail term at night under a deal with the government.



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