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Viewing cable 09KABUL2246, COMPLAINTS TO GIROA ON PRE-TRIAL RELEASES AND

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09KABUL2246 2009-08-06 05:05 2010-12-02 21:09 SECRET Embassy Kabul
VZCZCXYZ0001
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBUL #2246 2180528
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 060528Z AUG 09 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0662
S E C R E T KABUL 002246

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR SRAP, SCA/A, INL, EUR/PRM, INR, OSD FOR
FLOURNOY, CENTCOM FOR CG CJTF-82, POLAD, JICENT KABUL FOR
COS USFOR-A

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/01/2019
TAGS: PREL PGOV MARR AF
SUBJECT: COMPLAINTS TO GIROA ON PRE-TRIAL RELEASES AND
PARDONS OF NARCO-TRAFFICKERS

REF: REFTEL KABUL 02245

Classified By: DEPUTY AMBASSADOR FRANCIS J. RICCIARDONE FOR REASONS 1.4
(B) AND (D)

1. (S) SUMMARY: On numerous occasions we have emphasized with
Attorney General Aloko the need to end interventions by him
and President Karzai, who both authorize the release of
detainees pre-trial and allow dangerous individuals to go
free or re-enter the battlefield without ever facing an
Afghan court.  On July 29th, Legal Adviser Harold Hongju Koh
and Deputy Ambassador Frances Ricciardone demarched Attorney
General Muhammad Ishaq Aloko about our concern over pre-trial
releases and presidential pardons of narco-traffickers
(Reftel Kabul 02245) In Spring 2008, Post had previous
demarched National Security Advisor Rassoul about our concern
over pre-trial releases.  Despite our complaints and
expressions of concern to the GIRoA, pre-trial releases
continue. END SUMMARY

2. (S) Transfers from Bagram Theatre Internment Facility
(BTIF) to the Afghan National Detention Facility (ANDF) began
in Spring 2007.  During that year, there was only one
pre-trial release.  In 2008, there were 104 pre-trial
releases, almost all of which took place after President
Karzai formed the Aloko Detainee Commission in April 2008.
From January to March of 2009, there were 12 pre-trial
releases; and 23 pre-trial releases between April and June
2009.  So far in July 2009, there have been 10 pre-trial
releases.

3. (S) An August 2005 exchange of diplomatic notes between
the USG and the GIRoA provides the legal basis for the
GIRoA,s detention and prosecution of detainees transferred
into Afghan custody. Even though a multi-agency GIRoA
delegation under the Aloko Detainee Commission screens all
BTIF detainees who are transferred to the ANDF and assures
the USG that these detainees will be prosecuted in an Afghan
court, there have been 150 detainees released from the ANDF
without trial since 2007, including 29 former Guantanamo Bay
(GTMO) detainees.  The total number of transfers to date from
BTIF to ANDF is 629 detainees, plus 41 from GTMO.

-------------------------------
PROTECTION OF NARCOTRAFFICKERS
-------------------------------

4. (SBU) In April, President Karzai pardoned five border
policemen who were caught with 124 kilograms of heroin in
their border police vehicle. The policemen, who have come to
be known as the   Zahir Five,, were tried, convicted and
sentenced to terms of 16 to 18 years each at the Central
Narcotics Tribunal. But President Karzai pardoned all five of
them on the grounds that they were distantly related to two
individuals who had been martyred during the civil war.

5. (S) Separately, President Karzai tampered with the
narcotics case of Haji Amanullah, whose father is a wealthy
businessman and one of his supporters. Without any
constitutional authority, Karzai ordered the police to
conduct a second investigation which resulted in the
conclusion that the defendant had been framed. XXXXXXXXXXXXX told
XXXXXXXXXXXX he was   ashamed,, of the president for his
interference in this case and the case of the Zahir Five.

6. (S) In another case, a CJTF investigation concluded that
26 kilograms of heroin seized from a vehicle search belonged
to Col. Jaweed, Chief of the Highway Police for Badakshan
Province. Jaweed is the nephew of a powerful member of
Parliament. Eventually, he was arrested and is currently
serving in Pol-i-Charkhi prison. But, there is credible, but
unconfirmed, intelligence indicating that President Karzai
has signed a letter pardoning Jaweed that has not yet been
delivered to the Supreme Court. Daudzai denied any
significant pressure in this case.

7. (S) Unconfirmed intelligence also indicates that President
Karzai is planning to release drug trafficker Ismal Safed,
who is serving a 19-year sentence in Pol-i-Charkhi. Safed is
a priority DEA target who was arrested in 2005 in possession
of large quantities of heroin and a cache of weapons. In
2008, DEA conducted an operation in which an undercover
officer purchased approximately three kilograms of heroin
directly from Safed. Daudzai told the Deputy Ambassador that
President Karzai will not pardon Safed, and that Post,s
concerns about this case will reaffirm President Karzai,s
decision not to interfere.
EIKENBERRY