Hamid Karzai’s top lieutenants have repeatedly thrown monkey wrenches into corruption allegations threatening Afghanistan’s politically-connected elite, US officials tell the Washington Post. Prosecutors have been ordered to disregard evidence, remove names from case files, and prevent senior officials from being arrested, the Americans allege. “Above a certain level, people are being very well protected,” says one investigator.
Attorney General Mohammed Ishaq Aloko was seen as a potential anti-corruption warrior when he took office two years ago, but he’s consistently interceded for suspects with political ties—he helped the country’s former Islamic affairs minister flee the country, for example, when he was about to be charged with extortion. US officials say Aloko seems apologetic at these times, once saying, “I’m doing this because that is what the president tells me I have to do.”