Mock-trial Workshops to Improve Understanding of Criminal Justice Practitioners on CFT and ML Legal Framework and Trial Process

24 March 2023, Karachi, Pakistan – Pakistan Terrorism Prevention Project, funded by the U.S. Embassy's Office of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL), implemented by UNODC, organized two workshops on Countering the Financing of Terrorism Mock-Trial for Prosecutors and Judges. The three-day workshops were conducted from 07-09 March to 13-15 March 2023 at Sindh Judicial Academy, Karachi.

Participants included 25 Prosecutors and 10 Judges from the Anti-Terrorism and District Courts of the province. At the same time, officials from National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) and Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) also attended the workshop.

The objective of the mock-trial workshops was to improve the understanding of criminal justice practitioners in Sindh on legal framework related to Countering Financing of Terrorism (CFT) and Money Laundering (ML), in addition to the trial process through hands-on exercises with a particular focus on courtroom skills and techniques. During the workshop, participants role-played as investigators, prosecutors, and witnesses, to present a fictitious trial of a terrorism financing case. Participants also benefitted from an opportunity to enhance their skills and knowledge of legal procedures and strategies through peer mentoring and feedback.

During his opening remarks, Mr. Shahid Shafique, District Judge, Sindh Judicial Academy, welcomed the participants and highlighted the workshop's overall objective to enhance capacity, strengthen the CFT regime in Pakistan, and improve coordination capacities in cases related to terrorism financing (T.F.). He also led a brief introduction session and interaction between participants and expert resource persons.

The first session was about an overview of the UNSC 1267 Sanctions Regime, FATF recommendations, and its immediate outcomes for CFT. Participants were enlightened on key provisions of ATA 1997 related to terrorism financing and proscription regime, along with the requirements of evidence for successful conviction and confiscation. They were also apprised of National Risk Assessment and sensitized on how the relevant authorities needed to adopt a risk-based approach for improved results of the CFT regime.

The second session covered various stages of money laundering, and the modus operandi of the culprits using these tactics for terrorism financing was also explained. Key provisions of the Anti Money Laundering Act (AMLA) 2010 regarding money laundering investigations as well as the technical aspects of investigation for the establishment of a money trail connecting the property with terrorism financing, were elaborated. The vulnerability of different sectors, especially Non-Profit Organizations (NPO) and Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBP), to being exploited in money laundering and terrorism financing tactics was also highlighted.

On the second day, an FMU representative made a detailed presentation on the subject covering:

  • The evolution, mandate, and functions of FMU.
  • Compliance with UNSC Resolutions.
  • Institutional framework.
  • TFS understanding by reporting entities.
  • Challenges faced by FMU in domestic and international cooperation and Implementation.

The presenter also explained the SOPs in place to analyze STRs/ CTRs and Risk Screening/ Analysis of TFS-related STRs.

The presenter also touched upon emerging technologies used in CFT and ML, notably cryptocurrencies. Participants were apprised about the working of cryptocurrencies, methods to obtain the same in Pakistan, legal framework, and the role of FMU in generating Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) for transactions involved in the cryptocurrency business.



During the second part of Day 2, a case scenario was shared with all participants, and they were divided into different groups with assigned roles. This scenario entailed a complex case of T.F. having elements of ML, digital evidence, inter-agency coordination, international cooperation, sanctioning, and proscription regime involving all sections of T.F. and parallel sections of the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act and Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA).

In this complex scenario, participants wrote down the steps of receiving records from relevant authorities, establishing a money trail, recording witness statements, preparing seizure memos, lodging FIR and preparing the final report.

On the workshop's final day, each group presented their case as a prosecutor, while two members of the Sindh Judicial Academy acted as judges. During the mock trial, prosecutors were allowed to present the case, whereas the judges highlighted gaps in the investigation and prosecution of the T.F. trial.

The workshops concluded with closing remarks by Shahid Shafique, District Judge, who appreciated the persistent efforts of the UNODC in providing platforms that helped enrich their capacities in dealing with T.F. cases. He also expressed gratitude towards the U.S. Embassy's International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Office (INL) for extending financial support. Both events were formally closed with the distribution of certificates to participants.