Afghan Sentenced for Fraudulent Attempt to Pose as Diplomat ({{commentsTotal}})

An Afghan man who made a brazen attempt to join the diplomatic corps in Estonia has been given a suspended sentence.

This fall, Kheiber Shinwari, 26, presented documents purporting to bear the signature of his native country's foreign minister to get diplomatic accreditation in Estonia.

Public prosecutor Steven-Hristo Evestus called the case unusual. "People have time and again tried various ways of forging documents, but it's extraordinary to see it at such a high diplomatic level," he told Eesti Päevaleht.

Shinwari pled guilty under a plea bargain this week and was sentenced to four months suspended with three years probation.

According to the accusation, Shinwari showed up at the Foreign Ministry in September, introducing himself as a special envoy from Afghanistan and asking for a diplomatic card.

Inquiries were made to Afghanistan's foreign ministry, but Shinwari kept up his side of the story - that due to the fog of war and language barriers, the officials in his home country weren't aware he was already in his ninth month as a diplomat.

But Estonian investigators had a rock-solid case: a computer seized during a search was found to show that Shinwari had been online to download official-looking emblems and had forged the signature.