Training on "Understanding and Presenting Circumstantial Evidence in Terrorism Trials"

27th September 2018: UNODC under the framework of Pakistan's Action to Counter Terrorism (PACT) Project organized a four-day training in Islamabad on "Understanding and Presenting Circumstantial Evidence in Terrorism Trials" for Prosecutors from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in collaboration with the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA), and the Prosecution Department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The training was attended by thirty prosecutors including 11 females and 19 male prosecutors belonging from six districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

During the four-day training, the prosecutors were briefed on the international best practice related to evidence collection, preservation including on the importance of chain of custody while improving their skills for presenting circumstantial evidence in terrorism trials in the courts. The training was based on interactive sessions in which participants had the opportunity to learn from both the trainers and their peers from other districts. Over the course of the training, various national legal experts delivered sessions on the prevailing legal framework on the subject while providing clarity on the role of circumstantial evidence and its admissibility.  

In addition to this, a special session was organized on Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations, Pakistan's legal instruments for countering terrorism financing including its obligations under various UN Security Council Resolutions which was delivered by the former Federal Law Minister of Pakistan Mr. Ahmer Bilal Soofi. After the session the participants had a chance for a close-interaction with Mr. Soofi to discuss legal limitations and challenges prosecutors face in convictions related to terrorism financing offences. 

During the closing session of the training, Mr. Cesar Guedes, UNODC Representative, along with Mr. Jaffar Khan, Director General Counter-Terrorism NACTA and Mr. Ahmer Bilal Soofi, Former Federal Law Minister delivered their closing remarks and highlighted the important role prosecutors play in ensuring due-process, justice and respecting the rights of offender through a fair trial. 

Mr. Guedes said, "he was very delighted to see a high number of female prosecutors from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and applauded their active participation during the training." At the end of the workshop, certificates were distributed amongst the attendees. 

The training was made possible with the support of the European Union.