Ashraf Ghani denies fleeing Afghanistan with vast quantity of cash: ‘My wife and I have been scrupulous’
Ashraf Ghani denies fleeing Afghanistan with vast quantity of cash: ‘My wife and I have been scrupulous’

Former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani apologized for failing to preserve Afghanistan’s constitutional system of government in a new statement that disputes reports that he fled the advancing Taliban in a helicopter laden with millions of dollars. “Now is not the time for a long assessment of the events leading up to my departure — I will address them in detail in the near future,” Ghani wrote in a statement released via Twitter. “But I must now address baseless allegations that as I left Kabul I took with millions of dollars belonging to the Afghan people. These charges are completely and categorically false.” Ghani’s departure drew condemnation from other prominent Afghan government officials, as Taliban fighters entered the capital city with ease. That controversy cemented his reputation as a corrupt cause of the Afghan central government’s impotence to withstand the Taliban, in part due to Russian government claims that he fled with a cartoonish quantity of cash. "As for the collapse of the (outgoing) regime, it is most eloquently characterised by the way Ghani fled Afghanistan,” Russian Embassy spokesman Nikita Ischenko said. "Four cars were full of money, they tried to stuff another part of the money into a helicopter, but not all of it fit. And some of the money was left lying on the tarmac.” ASHRAF GHANI: THE US-BACKED AFGHAN ‘TECHNOCRAT’ WHO SEEMED DOOMED TO FAIL Ghani insisted such reports represent a scurrilous besmirching of his reputation. “My wife and I have been scrupulous in our personal finances. I have publicly declared all of my assets,” he wrote. "My wife’s family inheritance has also been disclosed and remains listed in her home country of Lebanon. I welcome an official audit or financial investigation under UN auspices or any other appropriate independent body to prove the veracity of my statements here.” The departed president drew criticism earlier this year when the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project revealed that a company connected to his brother had received the rights to purchase a valuable chromite mine. That report quoted a member of NATO’s counter-corruption task force for Afghanistan, Jodi Vittori, as explaining that Ghani used mining contracts as a way of “managing the political settlement that helps balance the various forces there.”

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