Corruption investigation targets Afghan ministers

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The Independent Online

Three Afghan cabinet ministers and 12 former ministers are under investigation for alleged corruption, the attorney-general's office said yesterday, announcing cases that could signal whether the government is serious about fighting graft in its ranks.

President Hamid Karzai pledged in his second inaugural address last week to support the arrests of anyone involved in corruption, and international leaders say they will hold him to that promise.

"We are investigating allegations against 15 ministers – three of them in the current cabinet and the rest of them former ministers," Fazel Ahmad Faqiryar, the deputy attorney-general, said. He declined to name any of the men involved.

Earlier this month, US officials in Washington said that Afghanistan's Minister of Mines, Muhammad Ibrahim Adel, allegedly took a $20m (£12m) bribe to steer a $3bn copper mining project to a Chinese company.