Afghan Officials Send High-Profile Sexual Assault Case to Court

Afghan Officials Send High-Profile Sexual Assault Case to Court

SAM Staff,
FILE – Rashid Dostum shakes hands with local residents in Shebergan, Afghanistan,, Dec. 27 , 2001.

Authorities in Afghanistan confirmed Wednesday that an alleged torture and sexual assault case against the country’s first-vice president, Abdul Rashid Dostum, has been sent to court for further action.

A spokesman for the attorney general’s office in Kabul told VOA the charges were investigated with ‘complete impartiality’ before the case was submitted to the court a month ago.

The disclosure came a day after the United States described as “extremely serious” charges against Dostum and stressed the need for a “fair” investigation as well as “follow-up legal actions” to uphold rule of law and combat impunity in the war-hit nation.

Dostum, a 63-year-old ethnic Uzbek warlord, and some of his militia guards, have been under investigation for months over allegations of torturing and sexually assaulting an elderly political rival named Ahmad Ishchi.

But in late May, Dostum flew to Turkey, saying he needed health care and remains there. His departure has prompted allegations he struck a secret deal with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to escape prosecution.

Hugo Llorens, the acting U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, told reporters Tuesday the charges against Dostum warrant close review by Afghan judicial authorities.