Mock Investigation and Trial of Terrorism Financing and Related Serious Offences

26 - 28 February, Islamabad, Pakistan. The UNODC Country Office Pakistan, in collaboration with the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA), organized a 'Mock Investigation and Trial of Terrorist Financing and Related Serious Offences Workshop' in Islamabad, on 26-28 February 2019. The workshop comprised relevant officials from all three pillars of the criminal justice system. In total 32 participants attended from across Pakistan; including counter-terrorism officials from both the police force and intelligence agencies, along with Anti-Terrorism prosecutors and judges.

To achieve a vibrant training with clear and operational objectives, the methodology utilized was a mock trial exercise. Through this method,participants could present and augment their learning and experiences through a hypothetical terrorism financing case, and set evidence provided them as the investigation progressed. The workshop was the first of its kind given the participation of all pillars of the country's criminal justice system, enabling mutually beneficial peer-learning and experience-sharing during the interactive-sessions, towards improved inter-agency cooperation and information sharing.

During the opening session of the exercise UNODC Senior Programme Officer Mr. Syed Arslan,,with DG CTF NACTA Mr. Muhammad Iqbal, highlighted the roles and mandate of UNODC and NACTA in providing support to law enforcement and criminal justice officials to strengthen their response to countering the financing of terrorism.

After formally introducing the participants, the working methodology and workshop objectives were highlighted by Mr. Philip Divett, Programme Officer Terrorism Prevention Branch, UNODC HQ Vienna. He further briefed the participants on 'The United Nations Framework for Countering the Financing of Terrorism and Related International Standards', before highlighting emerging terrorist financing threats, sources, and typologies.  

Later in the afternoon Mr. Nadeem Shirazi, NACTA, gave a presentation on Pakistan's legal and institutional framework for countering the financing of terrorism; and answered questions regarding the Authority's recently developed SOPs and Guidelines issued to law enforcement agencies. 

On the second day of the workshop presentations were made by Mr. Keith Veralls, former British police officer, on the UK's approach to terrorism investigations; and by Mr. Roger Smart, UK Crown Prosecution Services, on the importance of terrorism financing investigations during prosecution of terrorism cases. The workshop continued with a group exercise in which participants were divided into groups to analyze scenario-based exercises. During the last session representatives from each group presented a short summary of their groups' analyses and observations, on which the other groups provided candid feedback.

During the closing session Mr. Muhammad Iqbal on behalf of NACTA expressed his appreciation of the attendees for their active participation throughout the three days' training, and Mr. Syed Arslan assured participants of UNODC's support for holding similar events in future.

At the workshop conclusion, participants were awarded certificates; and expressed their appreciation to NACTA, UNODC, and the Government of Japan for this valuable contribution in enhancing their skills and knowledge. 

The activity was made possible with the support of the Government of Japan.