KABUL - Kabul Bank's former chairman Shirkhan Farnood and former chief executive Khalil Ferozi have been sentenced to five years in prison each in connection with the multi-million dollar fraud that almost led to the bank's collapse in 2010.
The Kabul Bank special tribunal delivered its verdict in Kabul Tuesday, also fining Farnood $278 million and Ferozi $530 million.
"Farnood and Ferozi have also been ordered to pay back these funds," court chief Shamsurrahman Shams said.
Twenty-one other former bank employees have been sentenced by the court for jail terms of between two and four years. Of this group, five are considered missing or have left the country.
"These 21 individuals are going to be sentenced because of their role in the Kabul Bank crisis," Shams said.
Kabul Bank was one the largest bank in Afghanistan and handled most of the government payrolls, including salaries for policemen and teachers in the country.
The Kabul Bank special court was a proposal of the Supreme Court approved by President Hamid Karzai in June last year. There will be two more formal court hearings before the final Supreme Court verdict is delivered.
On Monday, the Special court chief has said that the another 13 people including bank stakeholders Mahmmod Karzai and Hassin Fahim – the brothers of President Hamid Karzai and Vice-President Marshal Mohammad Qasim Fahim – are also under investigation although they were not part of the preliminary hearing.
The bank has been replaced by the New Kabul Bank, with the government investing more than $800m. But the fallout of the collapse of the first bank is still being felt.
The Afghan government is almost entirely paid for by foreign donors, many of whom have threatened to pull or curtail financing if they do not see proof that the Karzai administration is assuring that funds reach Afghan citizens as intended. (Tolo News)