Abdulhai Jurat, a former military prosecutor accused of bribery, stands in the dock surrounded by police at his trial in the new Anti-Corruption Justice Center. (Pam Constable/The Washington Post)
Washington Post: Finally, Afghanistan is trying to penetrate and purge high-level corruption
KABUL — The courtroom was tense. The prosecutor’s team fiddled with its new equipment. The defendant, tall and imposing in the dock, fidgeted with his shirt cuffs. Then the lights were switched off and a video scene flashed on the wall.
It showed a brief scuffle on a garden path outside a housing complex in the capital. Plainclothes detectives surrounded the defendant, who protested and pulled back sharply. The camera zoomed in on his hands and pockets, then shifted to the nearby bushes, where some crumpled currency bills lay.
This was the “gotcha” moment in the first of two trials held in the new Anti-Corruption Justice Center this month, the opening salvo in the government’s ambitious, much-touted effort to penetrate and purge an entrenched system of high-level official corruption.
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WNU Editor: The culture of corruption has been in Afghanistan for so long that I doubt that a few high profile cases of corrupt officials being tried and convicted will change the status quo.