Thursday 21 June 2012
Last Update 21 June 2012 10:49 pm
KABUL: President Hamid Karzai yesterday urged Washington to hand over the former Afghan central bank governor to face justice, after being accused over the near billion dollar Kabul Bank scandal.
Abdul Qadir Fitrat quit as head of the central bank and fled to the United States in June last year, saying his decision to speak out about the near-collapse of Kabul Bank, the war-torn country’s largest private lender, had put his life in danger.
Afghan prosecutors have referred dozens of people to a special tribunal set up by Karzai to deal with the case.
Discussing government efforts to fight corruption at a special session of parliament on Thursday, Karzai said everyone involved in the scandal “from shareholders to owners and workers” would be brought to justice.
“We call on the United States to return to us the central bank governor,” Karzai said, referring to Fitrat.
“The central bank governor who assured me in writing that no problem existed with the Kabul Bank.”
The bank, which was responsible for paying 80 percent of government employees, almost collapsed in 2010, with owners including one of Karzai’s brothers accused of pocketing $900 million in illegal loans.
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