FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SUNDAY, JULY 3, 2005
TDD (202) 514-1888
ATTORNEY GENERAL GONZALES TRAVELS TO BAGHDAD
TO VISIT DOJ PERSONNEL, MILITARY TROOPS, AND IRAQI OFFICIALS
BAGHDAD, IRAQ – Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales arrived in Baghdad on Sunday morning to meet with and thank Justice Department officials working in Iraq, including personnel from the Department’s Criminal Division, the FBI, the Regime Crimes Liaison Office, and other Department components. Gonzales also planned to meet with U.S. military personnel in Baghdad and with several high-level Iraqi officials.
“On this weekend when Americans celebrate our independence, it is important – as President Bush urged earlier this week – that we recognize and thank the brave American men and women who are sacrificing to promote democracy in Iraq and to defend our freedom,” said Attorney General Gonzales. “I am proud of the people of the Department of Justice who are contributing to this effort by helping Iraqis advance the rule of law.”
Among those traveling with the Attorney General today is Max Wood, the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, who will begin service shortly as Justice Attaché to the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. The Attorney General is also accompanied by FBI Assistant Director Willie Hulon, who heads the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division.
FACT SHEET: DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE EFFORTS IN IRAQ
During the first weeks of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Department of Justice deployed 24 experts into Baghdad to support the Department of Defense’s plan to assess and reconstitute the justice and law enforcement systems in Iraq. Today, the Department of Justice has more than 400 employee and contractor personnel in-country as it assists Iraqi efforts to promote freedom and security in a variety of areas, including advice and training that will help to re-establish essential law enforcement and security functions.
Max Wood, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, will begin serving as the Justice Attaché to the U.S. Embassy later this month, coordinating all Department activities in Iraq. He will succeed Chuck Larson, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa, who served as the Justice Attaché from July 2004 until May of this year.
Through the transition of authority to the Interim Iraqi Government in June 2004, the Iraqi Transitional Government in April 2005, and the present, Justice Department components have continued to support the emerging Iraqi justice sector in the following ways:
TRAINING AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE:
·The Criminal Division’s International Criminal Investigative Training and Assistance Program (ICITAP) deployed senior managers to oversee teams of trainers for the Iraqi Police Service (273 in Iraq and 64 in Jordan) and the Iraqi Correctional System (67 trainers).
·ICITAP police trainers, as well as other law enforcement trainers, work under the direction of the Multinational Security Transition Command in Iraq, a subordinate element of the Multinational Force in Iraq. This unit has responsibility for training all security forces: military, police, border protection, and site security personnel.
·The police trainers work in academies throughout Iraq and at the Jordan International Police Training Center outside Amman, Jordan.
·ICITAP corrections personnel, under Chief of Mission authority, are managing and mentoring Iraqi Corrections Service personnel in seven Coalition correctional facilities in and around Baghdad.
·ICITAP has also deployed six contractor personnel to assist in the establishment of the Commission on Public Integrity, which is charged with investigating corruption in Iraqi government institutions.
·The Criminal Division’s Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training (OPDAT) has deployed federal prosecutors as resident legal advisors to assist the Iraqi Higher Juridical Council, Iraqi prosecutors, and the Central Criminal Court of Iraq (CCCI) with the development and implementation of justice sector initiatives and to provide professional training.
-The resident legal advisors support and advise the chief judges within the two judicial districts of Baghdad on a weekly basis. There are over 100 judges assigned to these districts.
- OPDAT resident legal advisors coordinate training programs for Iraqi jurists, investigative judges, and judicial investigators.
- A combined OPDAT and ICITAP team performed a comprehensive assessment of the Iraqi security and justice sector and the court administration system.
-Resident legal advisors assisted the Interim Iraqi Government in vetting 830 Iraqi jurists.
-In conjunction with ICITAP personnel, OPDAT resident legal advisors train Iraqi judicial investigators in basic investigative practices, procedures, human rights, and ethics.
·The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) provides specialized investigative support and specialized explosives-related training to the Iraqi police.
·The U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) is helping to establish court and witness security programs for the Iraqi court system.
·The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has delivered courses in intelligence and intelligence analysis to the Iraqi police.
·The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) opened a Legal Attaché Office in Iraq to provide law enforcement liaison and international assistance. The FBI also has a counterterrorism unit in Iraq. In addition, the FBI deploys rotating teams of specialists to provide counterterrorism training to the Iraqi police.
·The Justice Department also organized and supports the Regime Crimes Liaison Office (RCLO), an independent office of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. In May 2004, the President established the RCLO as the lead U.S. government agency for support to the Iraqi Special Tribunal (IST). The IST has jurisdiction to investigate charges of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and violations of certain Iraqi laws, and has investigations underway against Saddam Hussein and other former Iraqi officials.
-The Attorney General appointed Gregg Nivala as the Regime Crimes Liaison in March 2005. He manages the RCLO, leads the U.S. investigative efforts in support of the IST, and is the U.S. Liaison to the IST and to the Iraqi government in IST-related matters.
-The RCLO consists of approximately 68 personnel, including 53 in Baghdad (investigative agents from FBI, ATF, DEA, and USMS; prosecutors; military officers; and foreign nationals); 10 in Washington, D.C.; and five in Doha, Qatar.
-Approximately 50 Iraqis are employed at the RCLO’s Secure Evidence Unit in Baghdad and 20 linguists work as translators in Doha.
-At any given time, the RCLO may also employ as many as 100 contractors in the field. These include anthropologists, archaeologists, pathologists, and other forensic scientists working on the exhumations of mass graves and the preservation of evidence, as well as investigative consultants and international humanitarian law experts.