Afghan President Pardons Dangerous Criminals
Numerous dangerous criminals and drug dealers have been released by Afghan President Hamid Karzai, according to leaked American diplomatic documents.
American officials said they repeatedly reprimanded both Karzai and Afghan attorney general Muhammad Ishaq Alko for authorizing the release of detainees over a three-year period.
"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," states a cable dated August 2009 and classified as "secret" by US deputy ambassador to Afghanistan Francis Ricciardone.
"Despite our complaints and expressions of concern to the GIRoA (Afghan government), pre-trial releases continue," it said.
In the August 2009 cable, American officials said that since 2007, 150 of the 629 detainees transferred from coalition to Afghan custody had been released without trial.
More than 250 000 cables were obtained by the whistleblower website WikiLeaks, founded by Julian Assange, and were given to major US media, which published them on Sunday, exposing inner workings of US diplomacy, including candid and embarrassing assessments of world leaders.
Before Sunday, WikiLeaks had made public nearly 500 000 classified U.S. files on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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