Following 8 Subh’s Report on Coronavirus Budget Corruption, Case Filed against Former Governor of Maidan Wardak and 16 Others

8 Subh, Kabul: The Attorney General’s Office has filed a case against the former governor of Maidan Wardak and 16 others on charges of embezzling funds earmarked for combating coronavirus.

Jamshed Rasuli, the spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office, told 8 Subh on Wednesday, October 28, that these persons have been accused of embezzling more than 800,000 Afghanis from the COVID-19 budget.

The accused include the former governor, head of finance and administration, general manager of revenue, administrative officer, logistics manager, ambulance service officer, a member of the provincial council, a municipal employee, the revenue department, the head of the sector, two employees of the Maidan Wardak National Security Department, the head of Milad Credit, CEO of Shakir Ahmadzai, a member of civil society and a journalist.

The Attorney General’s Office had previously taken 21 people to court, including the current governor of Herat, on charges of embezzling COVID-19 funds.

The Attorney General’s Office has taken these individuals to court based on the findings of the board of the Office of the Ombudsperson of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan after examining 8 Subh’s report on corruption in the use of the coronavirus budget.

Following the outbreak of coronavirus, the government allocated funds to combat it and also delegated special powers to the provinces to spend from the budget. However, the process of spending from the budget to combat coronavirus in Kabul and the provinces was suspected to involve widespread corruption and embezzlement.

8 Subh’s report on June 21 exposed that in Herat, Badakhshan, Nuristan, and Maidan Wardak provinces, almost 150 million Afghanis from the budget was used to purchase medical equipment at prices that were inconsistent with market rates, resulting in wasteful expenditure.

Subsequently, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani instructed the Office of the Ombudsperson to review the report.

On August 25 of this year, the Office of the Ombudsperson of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan reported the former governors of Herat and Nuristan, Maidan Wardak and the current governor of Badakhshan to the Attorney General’s Office on suspicion of “mismanagement of the coronavirus budget.”