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 An Ariana Media Publication 04/17/2014
 Afghan Anti-Graft Chief Lodin Denies Vendetta Against Finance Minister

By Shairf Amiry

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High Office of Oversight and Anti Corruption (HOO) chief Azizullah Lodin said on Wednesday that he does not hold any kind of personal animosity towards Finance Minister Hazarat Omar Zakhilwal.

Mr Zakhilwal on Tuesday accused Dr Lodin and the HOO of conspiring against him.

"I don't have personal animosity with him," Dr Lodin told TOLOnews, refering to Mr Zakhilwal. "I haven't even talked with him for an hour. Whatever I said is according to documents."

Mr Zakhilwal is struggling to explain his finances after a TOLOnews investigation discovered that payments totalling $1.5 million had been made into his bank accounts over the past five years. He claims the money came from consultancies at the World Bank and teaching at Carlton University in Canada. However, the World Bank has denied paying the money to Mr Zakhiwal and Carlton University said his salary was only $1,000 per month - not $1,500 per day as Mr Zakhiwal claims.

Mr Zakhilwal has sent a letter to the Attorney General's Office asking for an investigation into matter. He also wants those who gave his bank account details to the media to be prosecuted. In the letter, he said that Dr Lodin has misused his position and asked that the results of investigation be published publicly.

A TOLOnews reporter was denied entry into a press conference held by Mr Zakhilwal on Tuesday, raising concerns about media freedom in the country.

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