Iraq: Using intelligence in FTF-related investigations and prosecutions

The UNODC's Terrorism Prevention Branch (UNODC/TPB) held a national workshop for Iraq on protecting and using intelligence information in human rights and rule of law-based criminal justice sector-led investigations and prosecutions of foreign terrorist fighter (FTFs) related cases in Valletta from 5 to 7 June 2017. The workshop is part of UNODC/TPB's bilateral project with Iraq on strengthening the legal regime against terrorism and is generously funded by the European Union.

The workshop gathered 12 Iraqi criminal justice and law enforcement officials working on terrorism cases. Experts from Algeria, Austria, Lebanon, the United Kingdom and the United States of America were also in attendance and shared their experiences related to the topics covered during the workshop. 

The sessions focused on the use of intelligence information and related challenges during different security and judicial phases, namely when conducting investigation, prosecution and adjudication of terrorism cases. Accordingly, Iraqi participants first highlighted the challenges that they encountered during each of the above-mentioned phases. Subsequently, through having listened to the challenges highlighted by the Iraqi participants, experts were able to tailor and prepare interactive presentations and provide them with relevant good practices from international and national efforts.   

The first session focused on the international requirements related to the use of intelligence information when investigating and prosecuting terrorism cases. In this regard, relevant universal legal instruments were highlighted, in particular United Nations Security Council resolution 2178 (2014), as well as international non-binding recommendations. 

Furthermore, the workshop comprehensively addressed the main challenges encountered by the judiciary and law enforcement when dealing with intelligence information in the investigation, prosecution and adjudication of terrorism cases. Emphasis was put on the collection of credible intelligence; the relationship between law enforcement and intelligence agencies; the use of intelligence in prosecution and during trial proceedings; the transformation of information into evidence, and the sharing of intelligence information internationally. 

The aforementioned topics were subject to interactive discussions and led to the identification of practices that could be adapted to the Iraqi context. Building on the workshop's findings, UNODC/TPB is conducting a follow-up training addressing the sharing of intelligence information internationally in Amman on 9-18 September 2017.