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Karzai aide in corruption inquiry is on CIA payroll: Report

By Nairita Das

Washington, Aug 26(ANI): An aide to Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, Mohammed Zia Salehi, who is at the centre of a corruption investigation, is on the payroll of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Afghan and American officials have said.

According to the officials, Salehi, the chief of administration for the Afghan National Security Council, has been receiving money from the US intelligence service for years.

However, it is unclear exactly what Salehi does in exchange for his money, whether providing information to the spy agency, advancing American views inside the presidential palace, or both, The New York Times reports.

Other prominent Afghans who American officials have said were on the CIA's payroll include the President's half brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, suspected by investigators of playing a role in the country's booming opium trade.

The revelation has raised new questions about how the US can root out corruption in the Afghan government when US operations in the country require support from some of the same politicians and leaders accused of graft.

Salehi was arrested by Afghani police in July, and was accused of accepting a car in exchange for his help in seeking the release of a suspect detained in another corruption case.

Investigators said that they had wiretapped him soliciting the bribe, but he was released within seven hours of his arrest.

Karzai had intervened after Salehi telephoned him from jail to demand help. (ANI)

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