Remarks by U.S. Embassy Kabul Special Chargé d’Affaires Ambassador Hugo Llorens on the Legal Case against First Vice President Dostum

I want to be very clear; it is not for me to speak on the technicalities of legal cases in Afghanistan.  Nevertheless, my government, the international community, and the Afghan people, support the continued serious investigation and possible follow up legal actions in the case of First Vice President Dostum and his associates. The allegations against the Vice President, including charges of rape and assault, are extremely serious and warrant close legal review by the Attorney General and other judicial authorities of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

The ongoing legal process underscores the Afghan state’s efforts to uphold the rule of law, combat impunity, and send a signal to the Afghan people, and indeed to the whole world, that no one, no one in Afghanistan, is above the law.  At the same time, the Vice President, like any other citizen, deserves due process and the presumption of innocence.

Again, this should be a strictly legal matter.  Any effort to politicize the case or use it to sow ethnic tensions is harmful to the rule of law, peace and stability in Afghanistan.  I believe the Afghan authorities must pursue justice and not succumb to any political pressures. A fair and transparent justice system is a hallmark of a democratic society.

I believe as well, a strong, independent justice system is critical to creating a better future for Afghanistan.  Afghans have the right to demand that human rights be respected, the rule of law be upheld, and those who violate the public trust are held accountable, regardless of position or influence.

That is my government’s position on this legal case.