Asia

Afghan businessman accused of bribing US soldiers

US transport plane at Kandahar air base Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The competitive tender process for Kandahar base contacts could be bypassed by staff

US prosecutors have filed charges against an Afghan businessman accused of bribing American soldiers to win multi-million dollar contracts.

The FBI alleges Hikmatullah Shadman gave at least two US soldiers bundles of $100 notes to win inflated deals to supply transport and heavy equipment.

Prosecutors say this took place when the the men were deployed to Afghanistan in 2009.

There has been no comment from Mr Shadman. His whereabouts are unclear.

Justice Department officials had earlier frozen more than $63m (£42.5m) in bank accounts controlled by Mr Shadman, a logistics and construction company owner, thought to be one of the first asset freezes of its kind involving an Afghan contractor.

This case was filed on 23 December in a federal court in North Carolina.

Both Robert Green, then a staff sergeant who managed supply requests at Kandahar air base, and his superior David Kline, have already been convicted of their part in the alleged fraud, after pleading guilty.

The complaint against Mr Shadman says Green received several payments of between $30,000 (£20,000) and $50,000, at his request, while Kline received about $50,000.

Green was sentenced to 10 months in prison and a year of supervised release in September, while Kline is due to be sentenced next month.

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