Ahmad Yusuf Nuristani is a former IEC chairman and a former Herat Governor [Photo: Archive]

KABUL, Afghanistan – A former chairman to the Independent Election Commission Ahmad Yusuf Nuristani is sentenced to three years of probation and a six-month home confinement in the United State, after pleading “guilty to theft of public money” and receiving “over $100,000 in government benefits.”

According to a report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), the former IEC chairman and a former Herat Governor admitted to “concealing and repeatedly lying to the Social Security Administration about his foreign travel and residency.”

The statement said Nuristani pleaded guilty on December 11, 2019 to theft of public money, admitting he received over $100,000 in government benefits by concealing foreign travel and residency between July 2015 and December 2018.

“Make no mistake, no one is above the law in Afghanistan or the United States, no matter how prominent or powerful they may be. Our work in this case demonstrates that SIGAR and its partner agencies are fully committed to this principle,” said Special Inspector General John F. Sopko as quoted by local media. “Just because someone can get away with criminality in Afghanistan, he or she should not think the same applies here in the United States.”

Nuristani was head of the IEC from August 2013 to March 2016. He was heading the election commission during the controversial 2014 presidential polls that ended up with the shared National Unity Government.