KABUL, Afghanistan — A confidential diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks says Afghan President Hamid Karzai has freed dangerous detainees and pardoned suspected drug dealers because they had connections to powerful figures.
The cable, written Aug. 6, 2009 by a U.S. deputy ambassador to Afghanistan, says Karzai authorized the release of detainees, letting them go free or return to the battlefield without facing an Afghan court.
The cable, revealed on Tuesday, also says Karzai pardoned five policemen caught with 273 pounds (124 kilograms) of heroin because they were related to two heroic historical figures.
Karzai's spokesman Waheed Omar did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
He said Monday the release of the documents wouldn't strain U.S.-Afghan relations.
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