The U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, John Bass reacted to the release of the former CEO of Kabul Bank Khalilullah Ferozy, who is convicted of multimillion-dollar fraud.
Bass said in a tweet on Thursday that he is “disturbed by reports” that the Afghan government has requested early release for Kabul Bank fraud perpetrator Khalil Firozy before the conclusion of his sentence.
“Countless Afghans suffered in the past decade because international assistance funds were stolen for personal gain,” Bass added.
“This action, along with the continued failure to execute warrants for those accused of corruption, calls into question the government’s commitment to combating corruption and making best use of donors’ support,” the U.S. Envoy said.
Bass’ comments come after President Ashraf Ghani in a decree ordered the release of Firozy.
However, Rahmatullah Nabil, the former chief of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) and one of Ghani’s opponent in the upcoming presidential election said that Firozy was released after he contributed $30 million to Ghani’s campaign.
“According to a credible source, Ashraf Ghani released Khalil Firozy one of the prime suspect of Kabul Bank scandal last week after contributions of USD 30 million to his campaign camp. Ashraf Ghani was also part of SmartCity deal in which he fired his legal adviser M. A Mohamadi,” Nabil tweeted.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for President Ghani Sediq Sediqqi said that Firozy was released due to an illness he suffers from and that he is into a severe house arrest.
“This has no truth in it Nabil sahib, because of his deteriorating health conditions the Government has put him under severe house arrest,” Sediqqi added.
The Kabul Bank was collapsed in 2010 after losing nearly $1 billion, and Khalil Ferozy and the bank’s founder, Sherkhan Farnood, were sent to prison and told to repay more than $800 million.
However, Farnood died in prison in a heart attack in 2018.