Terrorism Investigation Course, Trace Evidence and its Evidentiary Value in the Court of Law

Islamabad, 13 December 2019 - Competent and efficient police forces are essential for the elimination of terrorism from any territory. Towards the attainment of this objective UNODC under its PACT project, with the financial assistance of the EU, has initiated a training rollout on terrorism investigation course, under which specialized modules have been developed. From 2 to 6 December 2019, a detailed training session was organized at the Police School of Investigation, Peshawar on the module of 'Trace Evidence & Its Evidentiary Value in the Court of Law' for participants from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Police.

The first day of training commenced with deliberation on the contents of the module, wherein an introductory lecture was given on 'Evidentiary Value of IT-based Evidence, Geo-Fencing and Geo-Tagging, CCTV Cameras, Crime Mapping, & Utilization of NADRA's Database'. Other components of modules discussed included: Significance of Evidence and its Classification; Structure of a Joint Investigation Team (JIT); JITs formed pursuant to the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA); and Benefits of JITs.

Subsequent training days featured presentations on 'The Legal Framework of Evidence under Pakistani Law' in which trainers discussed the legal aspects of trace evidence; 'Confessions: Witness Statements'; and 'Physical and Electronic Evidence' which has become a seminal subject in this worldwide digital era. Special emphasis was placed on 'Digital (Audio/Video/CDs/Sims) and CDR' after which moderators supervised an assessment and quiz session to evaluate the lessons learned.

The third and fourth day of the week-long training was likewise significant for the participants as they visited the Forensics Lab, Peshawar. Lectures were given by the Pakistan Forensic Science Academy (PFSA) experts on 'Data Extraction/Mobile Forensics'; 'DNA and Serology'; 'Latent Fingersprints'; 'Explosives'; 'Firearms and Tools marks'; 'Trace Chemistry'; 'Vehicle Examination'; and 'Crime and Death Scenes'. These lectures were deemed important in knowledge value addition as practical examples were incorporated for more detailed learning.

The week was concluded with a post-training knowledge test for the participants, following which UNODC conducted an evaluation and obtained feedback from the participants for further reference. At the closing ceremony Mr Tariq Iqbal, Director Police School of Investigation, availed the opportunity to deliver a course review, along with a wrap-up session for the training. He emphasized that learning was a continuous process, and that one learns best through shared learning spaces. The session ended with a group photo, and concluding remarks from the UNODC team organizing the event, who thanked the European Union for making this training possible.