Police name suspect in slain Afghan cabbie case


SAN DIEGO — San Diego police on Friday publicly identified the main suspect in last month’s killing of an Afghan cab driver who friends and family say served as his country’s central bank governor before being granted political asylum in the United States in the 1990s. Officials initially described the case as a robbery-homicide but Sgt. Bryan Pendleton said Friday that police have not determined a motive behind the Sept. 28 death of Mir Najibullah Sadat Sahou, 68, who was shot repeatedly outside his taxi cab shortly before midnight in the upscale suburb of La Jolla. An arrest warrant has been issued for 28-year-old Ismael Raul Lopez, who faces murder charges in the fatal shooting. Pendleton gave no further details.

Sahou came to the United States in the late 1990s after fleeing civil war in Afghanistan, where he had worked as governor of the country’s central bank, said Nabil Miskinyar, who owns an Irvine, California-based TV channel, where Sahou worked part time. He said the French-trained economist became a self-employed taxi driver after failing to find work in his field. Miskinyar said he believes his friend, Sahou, was the victim of a violent robbery and his death had nothing to do with his work at his station, Ariana Afghanistan International TV. Sahou produced a bimonthly talk show called “To Find the Truth” aired to Afghans living abroad and in Afghanistan. The program focused on politics and the economy of Afghanistan and in his last program, he discussed the assassination of former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani, Miskinyar said.

Sahou had served at the central bank under Rabbani in the 1990s, Miskinyar said.