Cablegate: Afghan Attorney General Wants to Move Against
PP RUEHDBU RUEHPW RUEHSL
DE RUEHBUL #3805 3331539
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 291539Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3449
RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/DOJ WASHDC PRIORITY
UNCLAS KABUL 003805
DEPT FOR S/SRAP
E.O. 12958 N/A
TAGS: PGOV KCOR PREL AF
SUBJECT: AFGHAN ATTORNEY GENERAL WANTS TO MOVE AGAINST
CORRUPTION; SEEKS USG SUPPORT
1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Afghan Attorney General Aloko expressed his
desire to fight corruption and thanked the U.S. for its support for
Afghan law enforcement efforts in a November 28 meeting. He asked
for U.S. "political support" if he indicts an Afghan minister.
Coordinating Director Wayne assured Aloko that the USG would
continue to support the AG's efforts to enforce Afghan laws and
fight corruption which are top US priorities. END SUMMARY.
2. (SBU) On November 28, Justice Attach and Coordinating Director
for Development and Economic Affairs Wayne met with Afghan Attorney
General Aloko to discuss ongoing and future anti-corruption
investigations in light of President Karzai's Inaugural commitment
to end a "climate of impunity." Aloko described ongoing efforts to
demonstrate the seriousness of work done by his office. He praised
the recent conviction resulting in a 20-year sentence in the Shaheen
case, a narcotics case tried at the Counter Narcotics Justice
Center. He also praised DOJ and DEA support for Afghan
investigation and prosecution efforts that made this and other
convictions possible. He described other investigations underway to
explain the scope of crimes under investigation and the complicated
nature of gathering appropriate evidence. He noted he is sending
teams of investigators to various provinces (Uruzgan, Helmand,
Bahglan and Jalalabad) to investigate reports of corruption.
3. (SBU) Attorney General Aloko expressed appreciation for U.S.
support for the development of the Major Crimes Task Force, which is
led by the Ministry of Interior (MOI) and the National Directorate
of Security (NDS). He noted U.S. support provides valuable
assistance to his prosecutors. He also expressed appreciation for
DOJ mentoring of his Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU). Ambassador Wayne
said the Department of State was providing additional funds for DOJ
attorneys to use in mentoring the unit and that additional DOJ
prosecutors would be arriving in the months ahead to support the
ACU. Aloko recounted a conversation he had with the Supreme Court
Chief Justice Abdul Salam Azimi. Chief Justice Azimi said he would
pay special attention to anti-corruption cases and the judges he
designated to preside over them. He had urged Aloko to notify the
Supreme Court Chief Justice if he believes the judges are
inappropriately handling cases. Chief Justice Azimi said such
judges would be dismissed, according to the AG.
4. (SBU) Aloko said that following the inauguration, he and several
of his prosecutors met with the two Vice Presidents to convey
congratulations. He told them he was making anti-corruption a
priority for his office. He asked them to support the AGs office.
According to Aloko, Second Vice President Halili pledged his
5. (SBU) The AG said his prosecutors face major hurdles in getting
to provinces to investigate cases of corruption. He asked the U.S.
to help by providing helicopter transportation for the AGs office.
He asked the U.S. to continue to work with him and others who want
change for the good. The U.S., he said, has offered more help than
other donors to strengthen the rule of law.
6. (SBU) Justice Attach said DOJ mentors were willing to meet with
the AG's attorneys to review evidence packages developed for
sensitive corruption cases to ensure they were well-developed before
going to court. The AG expressed appreciation, and said his major
challenge is what to do if evidence points to a minister. He will
be under intense pressure if he indicts a minister, and therefore
will need "political support" of the U.S. Embassy. Ambassador Wayne
assured the AG that the U.S. will provide political support to
enforce Afghan law and fight corruption. He cited President Obama,
Secretary Clinton and other senior officials who have made clear
that fighting corruption is a top U.S. priority in Afghanistan.
7. (SBU) COMMENT: The AG's readiness to pursue investigations and
prosecutions of corrupt officials, including ministers is welcome.
However, he is likely to face intense pressure and political
interference if he does so. Moreover, it is not clear whether Aloko
will be reappointed AG in the new cabinet. We will continue to
support the law enforcement efforts of AG Aloko, or his replacement
and other key Afghan officials, by providing political cover,
technical assistance, mentoring, and financial support.