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Afghanistan: First Sentence for a Government Official Tied to Drug Trafficking

(Aug. 9, 2010) On August 3, 2010, the Primary Court of the Afghan Criminal Justice Task Force sentenced a former police chief to ten years in prison, in addition to fining him US$14,000 for his ties to drug traffickers. (Daniel Richey, Afghanistan Court Jails Top Government Official for Drug Trade Ties, PAPER CHASE NEWSBURST (Aug. 3, 2010),

The Criminal Justice Task Force, founded in May 2005, describes itself as having been established as a completely Afghan process to “bring to justice those involved in serious narco-crime within Afghanistan.” It brings together officials from the Supreme Court, the Office of the Attorney General, the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Justice. (About Us, Criminal Justice Task Force website, (last visited Aug. 4, 2010).) It has tried over 600 people in the last year alone, responding to pressure from outside the country to crack down on corruption related to the opium trade that is thought to fund insurgent activities. (Richey, supra.)

The recently imposed sentence is the first time Afghanistan has punished a high-ranking government official for offenses related to drug trafficking. In other action in response to the urging of Western countries to attack the problem of corruption, President Hamid Karzai's Cabinet approved a bill in July 2010 to permit the trial of high-level officials. (Id.)