DOJ/OPDAT Asia and Pacific Programs
OPDAT has comprehensive criminal justice programs, implemented through a Resident Legal Advisor, in China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Timor Leste. OPDAT is also currently active in other countries throughout the region, including Laos.
In China, OPDAT engages with Chinese government counterparts, jurists, academics, and the U.S. Embassy to promote long-term criminal justice reform in China consistent with international standards of human rights. OPDAT has worked to foster engagement in two main areas: (1) Chinese criminal procedure law and reform, with an emphasis on detention issues, evidence at trial, search and seizure, and (2) U.S.-Chinese law enforcement cooperation, with an emphasis on mutual legal assistance, intellectual property rights enforcement, money laundering, and computer crime. OPDAT also engages Chinese audiences in mock demonstrations of U.S. prosecutorial techniques unfamiliar to the Chinese, including plea bargaining and evidence presentation.
In Indonesia, OPDAT assists prosecutorial agencies in efforts to combat terrorism, corruption, trafficking in persons, environmental crimes, money laundering and terrorist finance, all of which pose significant law enforcement problems for Indonesia. In partnerships with the Indonesian authorities, three successful task forces have been developed to assist with these efforts: the Indonesian Attorney General's Office (AGO) Terrorism and Transnational Crimes Task Force (SATGAS), the AGO Anti-Corruption Task Force, and the AGO Natural Resources Task Force. OPDAT also provides training for prosecutors and judges, and supports legislative drafting efforts and policy advice in a variety of key areas including anti-terrorism and terrorism financing, money laundering, corruption, criminal procedure reform, and intellectual property rights protection.
In the Philippines, OPDAT's program focuses on developing an integrated training program for young prosecutors with a core curriculum that emphasizes both investigative and advocacy techniques, fostering police- prosecutor cooperation, and developing mechanisms to clear a congested case dockets through a variety of more efficient mechanisms. OPDAT has also organized or co-sponsored numerous training programs for police, prosecutors and judges in the area of Trafficking in Persons (TIP), resulting in: 1) the establishment of seven TIP task forces for ports and airports comprising both police and prosecutors, and 2) a judicial order to lower courts to make TIP their top priority.
In Thailand, OPDAT works closely with the Thai Attorney General's Office, and advances cooperation and dialogue between the U.S. and Thailand in the areas of criminal justice sector development, advanced criminal procedures, money laundering, anti-corruption, and counterterrorism. The program has been instrumental in linking the resources and expertise of the Department of Justice (including ICITAP, FBI, OIA, CCIPS and others) with those in the Thai legal and law enforcement community working to build a strong, independent, and corruption-free justice system. OPDAT is working with Thai government counterparts on the introduction of modern law enforcement tools and practices, such as plea bargaining, along with improving the capabilities of prosecutors to prepare and pursue complex criminal prosecutions involving transnational or organized crime in accord with new legislation, including trafficking in persons and cybercrime laws.
In Timor-Leste, OPDAT's program is focused on assisting the Office of the General Prosecutor, supporting anti-corruption efforts, and promoting legislative reforms in areas such as money laundering. OPDAT recently sponsored a visit to the U.S. by the Prosecutor General of Timor Leste to meet with counterparts at the Department of Justice and the FBI to discuss investigation and prosecution mechanisms for a variety of complex financial, corruption, and other crimes. OPDAT has also made effective use of the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Bangkok, Thailand, for multiple international training opportunities for the Office of the Prosecutor General national staff, including anti-money laundering, asset forfeiture, complex financial transactions, criminal investigations, and trial advocacy training, among others.