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Abdul Jabar Sabit addresses American officials in Washington

Abdul Jabar Sabet is an Afghan politician.[1] In May 2006 Hamid Karzai appointed him Attorney General of Afghanistan. Sabet is an ethnic Pashtun.

Sabet was a long time aide to former Afghan Prime Minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.[2] After leaving Afghanistan, he worked in the U.S. for Voice of America.

After living in Montreal, Sabet returned to Afghanistan to work for a human rights organization, before being appointed special adviser at the Interior Ministry.[3] He was promoted to Attorney General in May 2006. Sources close to the President Hamid Karzai say that Sabet was promoted with U.S. support in exchange for giving positive comments about the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.[2] He has however been critical of the Guantanamo release policy.[1] A series of articles on former Guantanamo captives, published by the McClatchy News Service, quoted Sabet commenting that the release of Guantanamo captives seemed to be divorced from the captives' role in the Taliban, and to be focussed largely on whether the captives complied with the camp rules.

In April 2007, Sabet launched a violent raid on Tolo TV (the country's largest private TV chain) for what he thought was a "distorted" report on his comments regarding the country's judicial system.[4] Seven journalists from the TV station were taken to his office by force without warrants and severely beaten.[5][6]

Accusation of corruption and breaking the lawEdit

On April 17, 2006 Sabet launched a raid on the country's most popular TV Channel Tolo TV. The raid ended with detention and questioning of Tolo TV staff and journalists for broadcasting a news clip about Sabet. The raid was fiercely protested and announced as illegal by the law-makers, the UN office UNAMA and independent journalists.[7]

Following the raid, TOLO TV launched a formal complaint against Sabet and Co. "The complaint identifies at least 11 potential breaches of the law by Mr Sabet ... [and others], [for] the potential crimes ...of the utmost seriousness and directly affect issue of rule of law and sustainability of democracy in Afghanistan, especially given that they may be perpetrated by a person holding the highest operational legal position in Afghanistan."" Among others Tolo TV's complaint requested the "immediate suspension of Mr Sabet and his co-workers implicated in the incident, including the Commander of District 10 Police pending the finalisation of investigations. The results of this complaint remain unknown.[8]

On June 8, 2007 Sabit reported that he was beaten in a revenge attack.[9] Sabit said that General Din Mohammad Jurat was behind the attack, which he characterized as a failed kidnap attempt. The Voice of America reported:

His tough stand against corrupt officials and former warlords serving in President Hamid Karzai's government has earned him numerous enemies.[9]

Despite Sabet's claims of being a champion of the anti-corruption fight, the Head of Afghanistan's Department of Corruption and Bribery, Izzatullah Wasifi, accused Sabet of corruption; he specifically said "...I am aware of many cases of [corruption] involving Attorney General [Sabet]." (Izzatullah Wasifi, 14, April, 2008)[10] It is worth noting, however, that Wasifi himself has been widely accused of corruption, by both Afghans and international observers, and spent several years in a U.S. prison after a conviction on drug charges.

On May 8, 2008 the Toronto Star devoted an article to Sabet's anti-corruption efforts.[11] He told Toronto Star reporters that although he had arrested 300 Afghan officials on corruption charges in recent months he said he had been unable to keep even one of them behind bars.

Presidential ambitionsEdit

On July 17, 2008 Hamid Karzai dismissed Sabet.[12] His dismissal was reported to be triggered by Sabet's Presidential ambitions.

In January 2009 an article by Ahmad Majidyar of the American Enterprise Institute included on a list of fifteen possible candidates in the 2009 Afghan Presidential election.[13] He was one of 38 candidates in the election and preliminary results placed him 18th.[14]


  1. ^ a b Tom Lasseter (June 15, 2008). "Guantanamo Inmate Database: Zia Khalid Najib". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on 2008-06-16. Retrieved 2008-06-16. This division did not have anything to do with the crimes attributed to them," Sabit said. "Only their behavior in the prison was taken into account.
  2. ^ a b "The True North? Canada Dodges Connection to the Kabul Airport Scandal". Sky News. April 9, 2007. Archived from the original on 2013-02-02. Retrieved 2008-02-22.
  3. ^ Constable, Pamela (November 23, 2006). "Top Prosecutor Targets Afghanistan's Once-Untouchable Bosses". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-09-05.
  4. ^ "Afghan official with Canadian past tied to violent TV raid". CBC News. April 18, 2007. Retrieved 2008-02-22.
  5. ^ "Rogue Attorney General Humbled By Gen. Amerkhel's Return". Sky News. April 26, 2007. Archived from the original on 2012-07-18. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
  6. ^ "Afghan Attorney General Criticized in Corruption Fight". National Public Radio. July 11, 2007. Archived from the original on 2008-04-14. Retrieved 2008-02-22.
  7. ^ "Afghan govt raids TV station over news clip". AFP/Reuters. April 18, 2006. Retrieved 2008-04-14.
  8. ^ "Afghan Attorney General Raids TV station". April 18, 2006. Retrieved 2008-04-14.
  9. ^ a b "Afghanistan's Attorney General Attacked in Kabul". Voice of America. June 8, 2007. Archived from the original on November 15, 2008. Retrieved August 17, 2017. Attorney General Abdul Jabar Sabet told reporters he was driving north of the capital when he was confronted by General Din Mohammad Jurat, former head of security in the interior ministry, and a group of armed men. Sabet said he was beaten by rifle butts and that the attackers fired their weapons. He accused Jurat of orchestrating the attack, which he said was a kidnap attempt.
  10. ^ "Afghan Attorney General Accused of Corruption" (in Persian). BBC Persian. April 14, 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-14.
  11. ^ Rosie Dimano (2007-05-10). "Afghanistan's Untouchables". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on 2008-08-03. Retrieved 2008-08-03. In the past 20 months, Attorney General Abdul Jabar Sabet has arrested some 300 top-echelon Afghan officials and charged them with corruption.
    "Ask me how many of them are in jail."
    How many of them are in jail?
    "Not one.
  12. ^ "Afghan Attorney General Gets the Boot from Karzai". Salem News. 2008-07-17. Retrieved 2008-08-03. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has dismissed his attorney general after an announcement that Attorney-General Abdul Jabbar Sabit would run for the presidency in elections next year. The BBC reports that Mr Karzai said the post of attorney general needed to be free from 'political influences'.
  13. ^ Ahmad Majidyar (January 2009). "Afghanistan's Presidential Election". American Enterprise Institute. Archived from the original on 2009-09-18. Karzai appointed Sabet attorney general of Afghanistan in 2006. He was hailed as the most vigorous anticorruption official in Karzai’s administration but lost popularity after failing to pursue charges against senior government officials, including Abdul Rashid Dostum. Launching a raid on Kabul’s most famous private television channel, Tolo, also defamed Sabet in the eyes of the people. Karzai fired Sabet after he announced his plans to run for president. Sabet is an ethnic Pashtun but lacks a broad social base in the country. He is said to be a former aide to fugitive mujahedin leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.
  14. ^ "Preliminary Result of Afghanistan Presidential Contest". Sabawoon online. 2009-08-20. Archived from the original on 2009-08-03.