Three senators, who were arrested red-handed over bribery in the northern Balk province a week earlier, have been released on bail upon request of Afghanistan’s Senate, according to spokesperson for the Attorney General’s Office (AGO).
The Senate was taken on board in regard to detention of the accused senators; it requested the AGO to release them on bail, Jamshid Rasuli, spokesperson for AGO, told Kabul Now. The AGO released the senators on bail, in line with the law, and their case is under investigation, Mr. Rasuli said.
“When a member of the National Assembly is accused of a crime, the law enforcement authority informs the house, of which the accused is member, about the case, and the accused member can be prosecuted,” says Article 102 of the Constitution.
In case of an evident crime – which apparently applies to the arrested senators –the law enforcement authorities shall legally pursue and arrest the accused without the permission of the house.
After the arrest of the senators, Farhad Azimi, governor of Balk province, said at a press conference that the senators were members of a delegation who visited Balkh province to assess local agencies responsible for collecting government revenues.
Issuing a joint statement, the Attorney General’s Office and the National Directorate of Security had confirmed that the senators were arrested on Sunday, December 27, while taking USD 40,000 as bribe.
The two agencies added that they had already notified the country’s Senate, known as Meshrano Jirga, in an official written letter. The Senate, however, claimed in a statement issued on Tuesday, December 29, that it was not informed about the arrest of its members.
Later, President Ghani dismissed two of the three senators – namely Mohammad Anwar Bashliq and Liyaqatullah Babakarkhel – who were both president-appointed senators.