Nytt

President Hamid Karzai fremstår i økende grad som en hindring for oppbyggingen av et fungerende samfunn i Afghanistan. Nå kommer opplysninger om at at amerikanerne ikke kommer noen vei med korrupsjonssaker mot mennesker med kontakter på høyt nivå. Etterforskningen blokkeres fra høyeste hold, også presidenten personlig.

Karazais kontor benekter alle anklager, men bevisene er massive, og dementiet bare øker mistilliten. Korrupsjonen er ikke bare en hovedgrunn til befolkningens synkende tillit, det vil også ha samme negative effekt på amerikanernes oppslutning om krigen når informasjonen blir kjent.

Obama-administrasjonen tar derfor korrupsjonen ytterst alvorlig. Den er en av de største problemene ISAF har å stri med.

Den internasjonale hjelpen er blitt en melkeku for afghanere i posisjon. Man regner med at en milliard dollar hvert år føres ut av landet, ofte helt åpent gjennom tollen i Kabul.

In recent months, the U.S. officials said, Afghan prosecutors and investigators have been ordered to cross names off case files, prevent senior officials from being placed under arrest and disregard evidence against executives of a major financial firm suspected of helping the nation’s elite move millions of dollars overseas.

As a result, U.S. advisers sent to Kabul by the Justice Department, the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration have come to see Afghanistan’s corruption problem in increasingly stark terms.

«Above a certain level, people are being very well protected,» said a senior U.S. official involved in the investigations.

Det benektes av Kabul-regjeringen at korrupte beskyttes.

But U.S. officials point to multiple instances of interference. The most prominent example to surface publicly involves Afghanistan’s former minister of Islamic affairs, who fled the country this year as prosecutors were preparing to charge him with extorting millions of dollars from companies seeking contracts to take pilgrims to the Muslim holy land, a trip known as the hajj.

Tidligere statsråd for islamske saker, Mohammad Siddiq Chakari, er anklaget for korrupsjon i forbindelse med arrangering av pilgrimsreisen til Mekka, haji. Han har flyktet – av alle steder – til London. Storbritannia og Afghanistan har ikke utleveringsavtale. Dermed sitter en korrupt afghansk statsråd trygt i London, mens britiske soldater ofrer livet i Afghanistan.

Det fører neppe til mindre korrupsjon, og det gjør neppe soldatene mer motiverte.

Det føres saker på lavere nivå, som et spill for galleriet.

Critics say Karzai’s initiatives are meant to appease the international community. «It’s all a show,» lawmaker Sayed Rahman said, noting that no senior government official has been imprisoned on corruption charges.

Tidligere kunne afghanerne skylde på manglende kompetanse og ressurser. Nå har amerikanerne gitt dem begge deler: nøkkelpersonell er utdannet i USA og afghanerne har fått utstyr til å overvåke mobiltrafikk. Det har gitt resultater.

Over the past year, U.S. officials said, Afghan investigators have assembled evidence against three Karzai-appointed provincial governors accused of embezzlement or bribery. All three cases have been blocked. The interference has persisted, officials said, despite Karzai’s pledge in November during his second inaugural address to make fighting corruption a focus of his new term.

The extent of the interference has become evident, officials said, in large part because of improvements in Afghan authorities’ ability to pursue corruption cases.

Over the past two years, U.S. agencies have allied with their Afghan counterparts to create elite investigative and prosecutorial teams. Afghan applicants undergo polygraph tests in which they are asked whether they have taken bribes. Some have been sent to U.S. facilities, including the DEA academy in Quantico, to be trained.

Still, Karzai’s administration has reportedly taken steps to limit the independence of these units. The U.S. official said that Aloko (riksadvokat, red. anm.) recently created a three-member commission to «review» the units’ cases and that it has removed names of politically connected Afghans from prosecutors’ files.

Karazai velger smarte måter å sabotere arbeidet på: han oppretter kommisjoner som liksom skal overvåke antikorrupsjonssakene. De luker ut følsomme personer, av tekniske eller judisielle grunner.

The wiretaps, approved by Afghan judges, have yielded key evidence in a growing list of embezzlement and bribery cases. U.S. officials said the wiretaps have also caught senior officials and members of parliament discussing efforts to derail certain cases

Hvor sammenvevd korrupsjonen er med krigen viser saken om firmaet New Ansari som er del av hawala-systemet som overfører penger direkte via mellommenn, og uten dokumentasjon. New Ansari skal ha overført penger både for narkosmuglere, penger som går til Taliban, og titalls millioner som smugles ut for korrupte tjenestemenn. Alle parter har derfor interesse i at korrupsjonen består.

In January, Afghan authorities raided the offices of New Ansari, a firm that has served as Afghanistan’s primary link to the «hawala» money exchange system. This informal system for transferring cash overseas makes electronic tracking difficult. A second U.S. official familiar with the investigation said the firm is suspected of laundering drug money, delivering funds to insurgents and helping Afghan officials transfer tens of millions of dollars to accounts abroad.

After the raid, wiretaps picked up conversations indicating that there had been a frantic meeting involving Karzai aides at the presidential palace. U.S. officials said members of Karzai’s administration as well as members of parliament held subsequent meetings with Aloko, pressuring him to ensure that certain New Ansari executives not be charged.

U.S. officials say Karzai aides are derailing corruption cases involving elite

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