UNODC Training Tackles Fair Trial and Witness Protection Questions in Terrorism Cases

Nairobi, Kenya - June 2018: 25 Kenyan Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) officers, prosecutors, defence counsel, officials from Kenya National Commission on Human Rights and of justice sector training institutions, recently completed a 3-day training workshop on human rights aspects of the investigation and prosecution of terrorism cases in Kenya.

The training workshop funded by the Government of Canada and organized by the UNODC Regional Office for Eastern Africa (ROEA) and UNODC Terrorism Prevention Branch (TPB) from 11-13 June in Nairobi, made use of a customised training tool for criminal justice sector training institutions in Kenya - the Kenya Training Manual on Human Rights and Criminal Justice Responses to Terrorism - which was developed jointly by UNODC and Kenyan experts.

During the opening of the workshop, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions and Head of the Counter terrorism Division in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP), Mr. Edwin Okello, stressed the importance of respecting human rights in the investigation of terrorism cases. This, he asserted, ensured that cases do not fail at trial due to human rights related challenges.

The courts in Kenya have been vigorously upholding human rights in terrorism cases, as protected in the 2010 Kenyan Constitution. In this regard and guided by the Training Manual, participants discussed questions of witness protection, fair trial, and evidence tainted by allegations of coercive interrogation and other human rights violations. They also worked through actual scenarios related to human rights issues arising in terrorism cases. Kenyan, Ugandan, British and UNODC legal and investigations experts shared their experiences with the participants and discussed Kenyan and International Law obligations and good practice.

The Government of Kenya and UNODC continue to cooperate in strengthening the capacity of criminal justice practitioners and institutions to prevent and counter terrorism in the context of the UNODC Regional Programme for Eastern Africa (2016-2021) and its Sub-programme on Terrorism Prevention, including through assistance to establish and support specialised investigations and crime intelligence capacities by Member States.