Serious Allegations against Member of Parliament: Murder, Kidnapping, Smuggling and Land-Grabbing

Documents obtained by 8 Subh show that Abdul Satar Hussaini, a Farah MP in the House of Representatives, has been accused of murder, kidnapping, land grabbing and smuggling of livestock, oil, steel rods and drugs by the provincial council chairman, the deputy head of the National Security Council, Satar’s brother and nephew. However, even years after the accusations were made, the judiciary has not yet interrogated the member of the House of Representatives. According to some sources, Mr. Hussaini does not allow his case to be pursued due to his familiarity with and influence over officials of the security, justice and judicial institutions. Abdul Satar Hussaini has even been accused of killing one of his nephews. Although the Member of Parliament blames the Taliban for the killing, the Taliban denies any involvement.

Some sources have accused Abdul Satar Hussaini, the representative of Farah province in parliament, of committing various crimes. Dadullah Qani, Chairman of the Farah Provincial Council, in a letter numbered 389/121 dated September 3, 2019, to the National Security Directorate of Farah Province, accused the member of kidnapping, land grabbing, drug trafficking and dismissal and installation of his relatives in security and customs institutions in Farah. The letter reads: “Mr. Hussaini, during his tenure as an employee in the Counter-Terrorism Department of the Farah Police Command, was accused of the abduction and kidnapping of the young son of a wealthy man named Juma Khan, for which reason he transferred himself from Farah to Herat province. He has been accused of drug trafficking there, until he eventually left that position.”

It is further stated in the document that Abdul Satar Hussaini has moved to Darabad village in Farah province after leaving his post. There has allegedly used the position of “Tribe Elder” to smuggle drugs, usurp and sell government lands around this village.

Elsewhere in the document, it is stated that this Member of the Parliament appointed Sakhi Akbari as security chief of Farah province, while Abdul Raziq was appointed as police chief of Qala-e-Kah district. Qayyum was appointed as security commander of Khak-e-Sefid district of Farah and Esmat Alizai was appointed as border commander of this province. In addition, Abdul Saboor was reappointed as director of Farah customs at Mr. Hussaini’s request. Mr. Dadullah, chairman of the Farah Provincial Council, explained the reason for the appointments as follows: “…to maintain his interests, Esmatullah Alizai, a retired officer, was appointed as border commander, a position in which he earns hundreds of thousands of Afghanis every night. He also re-appointed one of his relatives by the name of Abdul Saboor to the Farah customs department, from where he eventually transferred himself due to corruption and is wanted by the police.”

On the other hand, in an interview with Mili TV on November 10, Mohammad Hamid Tahmasi, the Inspector General of the National Security Council, accused Abdul Satar Hussaini of smuggling steel rods, livestock and drugs and called on the Attorney General’s Office to investigate the matter. This issue has not yet been addressed by the prosecutor’s office. Although we tried to get more details from Mr. Tahmasi, he did not answer our calls. However, Abdul Satar Hussaini, a Farah MP, denied the accusations in an interview with 8 Subh, saying that the National Security Council had accused him because he has talked about corruption in the Security Council inside the House of Representatives. He adds that if he is involved in livestock trafficking, then the Ministry of Defense is also involved. Abdul Satar Hussaini said, “If I am involved in livestock smuggling, the Ministry of Defense is also involved in smuggling because the borders are protected by the Ministry of Defense.”

Meanwhile, Mohammad Naeem, the brother of Abdul Satar Hussaini, who has lost his two children, accused Mr. Hussaini of being involved in the murder of his sons in an interview with 8 Subh. He said that he would also be killed if he did an interview. Although Mohammad Naeem did not give further details for fear of losing his life, he added that Abdul Satar Hussaini, due to his strong influence in the security, justice and judicial institutions of Farah province, would not allow the murder cases of his sons Hussain and Mohsin to be investigated.

How were Hussain and Mohsin killed?

Mohammad Hussain was a criminal officer in Farah province, the son of Mohammad Naeem and nephew of Abdul Satar Hussaini. In 2018, accused of theft by another uncle, Abdul Jabar who was the commander of the ‘Arbaki’ forces of Farah, consisting of local fighters, he was called to the Grand Mosque of Farah province to be tried in a desert court. When Abdul Jabar wanted to tie Hussain up, Hussain resisted and fought back. His uncle, Abdul Jabar and his two cousins were wounded in this clash, which ended with Hussain being shot dead by Abdul Jabar. After Hussain was killed, his younger brother, Mohsin, who is a passport management officer at the Farah Police Command, filed several petitions with the Farah Provincial Prosecutor’s Office accusing Abdul Satar Hussaini of involvement in Hussein’s murder and calling for an investigation. However, the Farah Provincial Prosecutor’s Office has only issued one summons and has otherwise not investigated the case.

A document issued by Judge Sikandar Mazhari, presiding judge of the Farah Court of Appeals, reads: “Mohsin, the victim’s brother, has explicitly stated in his interrogation, on page 34 of the case file, that Abdul Satar Hossaini, had threatened his brother on election day that he wouldn’t stay alive for more than few nights, which effectively was a death threat.”

Sometime after the lawsuit against Abdul Satar Hossaini was filed, Mohsin wanted to leave Farah for Herat on the first day of Eid al-Fitr. At the time, a three-day ceasefire had been declared by the Taliban. However, Mohsin was killed during the trip by unknown individuals in Farah’s Bala Bluuk district. Local officials have held the Taliban responsible for Mohsin’s assassination, but the Taliban deny this. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said, “This case has nothing to do with us because our people did not do such a thing on those days, anywhere. Furthermore, this person was not in any position that was dangerous for us. Based on this, the prevailing suspicion is that this is a matter within their family and has nothing to do with us.”

However, Abdul Satar Hossaini confirmed in an interview with 8 Subh that Hussain had been killed by his brother Abdul Jabar, adding that: “Abdul Jabar and his nephews were wounded and Hussain was killed.” Although he denies any involvement in the case, he says no one has been arrested yet because it is a family affair.

On the other hand, Mohammad Naeem says that his sons’ case has been with the Farah provincial prosecutor’s office for nearly two years, but corruption and the influence of Abdul Satar Hossaini in the provincial prosecutor’s office has prevented his case from being investigated. Mr. Naeem called on the judiciary to investigate the case of his sons and warned that he would take revenge if the judiciary did not investigate the case and the perpetrators of his sons’ murders were not caught.

However, Abdul Qahar Farukhsir, director general of information and public relations at the Attorney General’s Office said that the Farah Prosecutor’s Office was investigating the case and that the provincial prosecutor’s office had issued an arrest warrant for Abdul Jabar in connection to the murder of Mohammad Hussain, but that they had not been successful in apprehending him. Although we sought the opinion of officials of the Appeals Court of the Farah Prosecutor’s Office, they refused to be interviewed. However, Mohibullah Mohib, a spokesman for the Farah provincial police command, said that no letter had been sent to them by the prosecutor’s office in connection with Abdul Jabar’s arrest. He added that Abdul Jabar is currently conducting military exercises with 25 Arbaki soldiers in Darabad district of the province.

Mohammad Naeem, the victim’s father and Abdul Satar Hossaini’s brother, confirmed Mr. Mohib’s remarks in an interview with 8 Subh. He says that Abdul Jabar roams freely in Farah province and this has made it impossible for him to even leave the house for fear of Abdul Jabar. It is worth mentioning that Abdul Satar Hossaini and Mohammad Naeem are half-brothers. According to the information provided, Abdul Satar Hossaini, Abdul Jabar and his four other brothers are from the same mother, while Mohammad Naeem and his two brothers are from another mother.

Breaking the law or legal acquittal?

Although Abdul Satar Hossaini justifies the lack of arrests in connection with the case by referring to it as a “family matter”, legal experts emphasize the need to pursue crimes. They say that regardless of who committed the crime, it should be prosecuted according to the Penal Code. According to Waheed Farzayi, a legal expert, “Legally, whenever crimes under the Penal Code are committed by people at any level, they must be investigated by the judiciary. If a nephew is killed by his uncle, he can be prosecuted, and he must be prosecuted legally, no matter who he is.”

However, according to the chapter on life, physical and spiritual integrity of the Penal Code and Article 547 thereof, perpetrators of premeditated murders must be sentenced to death or long-term imprisonment. Articles 552 and 555 of this chapter also sentence perpetrators of murder and assault that leads to death to long-term imprisonment, and perpetrators of unintentional homicide to medium-term imprisonment or a fine of 60,000 to 180,000 Afghanis. However, Gol Ahmad Nourzad, an MP from Nimroz and chairman of the Lawyers’ Privileges and Immunities Commission, said the commission had asked Hamid Tahmasi, the National Security Council’s chief inspector, to provide evidence of the charges against Abdul Satar Hossaini in order to investigate the case. “If these allegations are true, we will not allow people involved in trafficking, kidnapping and murder to represent the people in the Afghan parliament,” he added.

Meanwhile, civil society activists believe that the rule of law needs to be implemented. Aziz Rafiei, head of the Civil Society Complex, said that if the judiciary was not impartial and independent and could not investigate cases impartially, then the rule of law would be called into question and the system would collapse. He said that the government was providing exemptions not only in this case but in “thousands” of other cases, which would do the most damage. According to Mr. Rafiei, these actions of the government would distance the people from the government, leading them to turn to the powerful who are able to solve issues by use of arms. According to the head of the Civil Society Complex, assessments show that people trust the Taliban because the Taliban are able to enforce their rulings and their courts settle cases promptly.