By Shadi Khan Saif
KABUL, Afghanistan (AA) - A former police chief in the southern province of Helmand was jailed for three years on Saturday for corruption.
Abdul Rahman Sarjang, who was appointed by President Ashraf Ghani, was convicted on charges of misusing his authority, according to a court statement.
Helmand is a vital province in the fight against the Taliban, who control large swathes of land, and is a center for opium production, which provides the militant group with much of its funding.
Among Sarjang’s crimes were the sale of police district chief posts in the province as well as the appointment of “ghost” officers who existed only on paper so he could collect their pay.
He was tried by a court of the recently established Justice and Judicial Center for Anti-Corruption.
Sarjang rejected the charges, claiming they were part of a political conspiracy against him.
Two months ago, senior military officers were jailed by a military court over their failure in preventing a militant attack on an Afghan National Army base in April.
Ghani has declared the Ministry of Interior to be the “heart of corruption” in Afghanistan and now personally supervises large procurement deals and the appointment of senior officers.