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Bribery probe of a powerful Afghan governor is shut down

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Hamid Karzai (AP file photo)

WHAT: After a yearlong investigation that called 20 witnesses to corroborate bribery charges against former provincial governor Ghulam Qawis Abu Bakr, the case was closed and the top prosecutor was demoted and transferred.

HOW: The U.S. hoped Abu Bakr would be the first convicted Afghan big shot. Most of the approximately 2,000 bribery cases investigated have stalled, except for 28 convictions of minor criminals.

WHY: U.S. officials have issued a grim, unpublicized assessment that no real corruption prosecutions are taking place in Afghanistan despite President Hamid Karzai’s 2-year-old pledge to root out widespread graft.

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