OPDAT Conducts Study Tour for Indonesian Supreme Court Delegation on Court Security:The OPDAT Resident Legal Advisor (RLA) to Indonesia led a high level Indonesian delegation, including two Indonesian Supreme Court Justices, to the United States from April 15-25, to examine court security issues. In anticipation of prosecuting more high profile terrorism cases, Indonesia is looking to strengthen its court security system. To address this critical issue, the RLA to Indonesia and the US Marshals Service are engaged in an ongoing effort to provide training and guidance on best practices for court security. This study tour was an important part of that effort as it involved the highest levels of the Indonesian judiciary. The delegation first traveled to Washington, DC, to focus on policy issues and examine legislation. The delegation met with federal judges and visited courthouses in DC to see how security is maintained in the nation’s capital. The delegation then traveled to Puerto Rico to examine how court security actually works on a day to day basis in an area of the United States with terrorism challenges, corruption problems, and violent crime issues. The visit to Puerto Rico highlighted that the same basic security methods in use in the nation’s capital can be effectively used to secure the courtroom in an area which faces challenges similar to those in Indonesia.
US-Based Program on Legal Education for Azerbaijan Delegation: FromApril 9-13, the OPDAT RLA to Azerbaijan accompanied a group of high-level Azeri legal education professionals, including law school deans and professors, to New Orleans, LA, and Washington, DC, where they were able to observe modern legal instruction standards and practices at US law schools. This US-based training focused on how trial advocacy skills are taught at law schools, including the use of moot courts and criminal law clinical programs. Baku State, the pre-eminent law school in Azerbaijan, currently has no trial advocacy program and a limited new clinical program that lacks a criminal component. By demonstrating modern instruction standards and practices at US law schools, including a case-based approach to legal studies, this program will help to further the rule of law in Azerbaijan.
Program on Combating Environmental Crimes in Indonesia: From April 3-5, in Malang, Java, the OPDAT Resident Legal Advisor (RLA) to Indonesia partnered with the Indonesian Attorney General's Natural Resources Task Force to conduct an environmental investigations and prosecutions program for local prosecutors designed to address illegal logging, pollution and crimes against endangered species. Using experienced environmental crimes prosecutors from the Natural Resources Task Force, the program focused on Indonesia's new environmental legislation, and how to effectively use that legislation to address environmental depredation and environmental crime. As one of the world's environmental superpowers, Indonesia is increasingly encountering transnational environmental crime as individuals and corporations seek to exploit Indonesia's environmental diversity and riches.
Workshop and Bilateral Meeting on Cybercrime Enforcement in Vietnam: OPDAT, in conjunction with the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS), conducted a cybercrime workshop in Da Nang, Vietnam, on April 3-4, prior to the start of the 45th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperative Telecommunications and Information Working Group conference, which occurred from April 5-11. Cybercrime workshop participants included representatives from the United States, Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, and Vietnam. During the two day workshop, DOJ provided training to investigators, prosecutors, and forensic analysts on topics ranging from an overview of new developments in Internet, computer, and cell phone crimes to the development of a 24/7 cooperation network. DOJ presenters included members of CCIPS and Special Agents from the FBI. On April 6, following the conclusion of the workshop, DOJ participants conducted a bilateral meeting with the Government of Vietnam on cybercrime enforcement in order to further develop working relationships with Vietnamese counterparts to combat the global threat of cybercrime.
Major Corruption Indictment in Serbia: The Organized Crime Prosecutor’s Office (OCPO) in Serbia has long been a focus of sustained mentoring and expert assistance by the OPDAT RLAs to Serbia. Their expert assistance has intensified since 2009, when the jurisdiction of the OCPO was expanded to include high corruption cases, and when OPDAT added a second RLA dedicated to corruption issues. It was thus a significant milestone on April 3, when the OCPO indicted 28 defendants in a high-profile corruption case that has garnered headlines in Serbia for months. The defendants are charged with embezzling more than $11 million from the Kolubara mining company. The defendants include former heads of the company with close political ties to the former prime minister. The indictment charges that from 2007 to June 2009, the heads of the Kolubara mining company abused their official authority and thereby damaged the company and the State, by contracting with 16 companies for the rental of heavy machinery (such as bulldozers and backhoes) that were never received or used. The contracts enabled these 16 companies to gain 937 million Serbian dinars (more than $11 million at current rates) in exchange for goods and services that were never rendered. In addition to managers of Kolubara, the indictment also charges high-ranking managers of the 16 companies.
Program on Investigating and Prosecuting Anti-Corruption Cases in Pakistan: On April 2, the OPDAT RLA to Pakistan held an anti-corruption seminar for over 50 National Accountability Bureau (NAB) investigators, analysts, and prosecutors. The NAB is an executive branch, independent, graft fighting body in Pakistan. An FBI Special Agent assisted the RLA. This was the second such program for the NAB; the first was held in Islamabad a month ago. The program was designed to illustrate the need for persistence, patience, and innovation in gathering evidence of corruption and seeking prosecution from the bottom to the top of a criminal organization. The instructors used anti-corruption case studies that showed how US federal agents and prosecutors put together and prosecute complex criminal cases in the fields of corruption and financial crime. The NAB participants were exposed to the complete array of investigative techniques used to uncover public corruption and the strategies employed in the indictment and courtroom presentation of evidence, including how to do a net worth profile in cases where a target is spending beyond his legitimate means. The participants seemed receptive to the alternative and innovative approaches to making and prosecuting successful corruption cases illustrated by the case studies. Additionally, while in Lahore, the RLA lectured and led a discussion on the differences between direct and cross examination for a class of over 50 students at the Pakistan Law College, a private law school. These subjects are simply not covered in Pakistani law schools.
OPDAT Launches Nationwide Train the Trainers Series in Serbia To Assist Implementation of New Criminal Procedure Code (CPC): In September 2011, Serbia enacted an important new CPC, culminating a successful two-year effort in which OPDAT RLAs to Serbia played a significant advisory role. The new CPC contains a host of innovations designed to strengthen the Serbian criminal justice system and bring it in line with European and international standards. Most significantly, the code shifts responsibility for investigations from the investigating judge to the prosecutor, expands the use of cooperating witnesses and plea agreements, and establishes the court as an impartial arbiter. With the new CPC scheduled to take effect nationally in January 2013, the two OPDAT RLAs to Serbia, in coordination with the Serbian Judicial Academy, launched a month-long national Train-the-Trainers series, which began on March 30. The aim is to develop a cadre of 56 experienced judges, prosecutors, and police, who will be dispatched in teams to the rest of the country to provide approximately 90 individual one-day trainings to judges, prosecutors and police nationwide. The series uses a curriculum that OPDAT developed jointly with the Serbian Judicial Academy, High Court Council, State Prosecutorial Council, and Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. It consists of two modules: the first covers preliminary investigation and investigation; the second addresses trial and appeal issues.
OPDAT RLA Participates in Montenegro Models of Legislation for Combating Organized Crime Conference: The OPDAT Anti-Corruption (AC) Resident Legal Advisor (RLA) to Albania gave presentations on “RICO and NYS Enterprise Corruption” and “Proffers, Pleas, and Cooperation Agreements” as part of the “Models of Legislation for Combating Organized Crime Conference,” conducted by the US Justice Department’s International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP) from March 28-30 in Budva, Montenegro. The program was designed to expose the Montenegro government to a variety of approaches utilized by other countries in their fight against organized crime and corruption. It brought together experts in the field to present examples of their best tools to investigate and prosecute complex criminal enterprises. Representatives from the United States, Italy, and Croatia showcased specific laws and investigative techniques that have proven successful in their respective jurisdictions. The audience included legal experts, ministers, judges, prosecutors, and high-level police officials. The goal of the program was to showcase the “best of the best” laws to fight organized crime and corruption. Seven Italian prosecutors and investigators, three Croatian prosecutors, and four US prosecutors and investigators presented.
Program on Advantages of Using Task Force Model in Investigating Illicit Transnational Drug Operations in Ghana: On March 26-30, the OPDAT Intermittent Legal Advisor to Ghana and a US District Judge (District of Alaska) conducted a workshop on investigating and prosecuting illicit transnational drug operations in Accra, Ghana for 22 prosecutors and investigators. The program focused on demonstrating why the use of a task force model would significantly help in investigating an illicit transnational operation moving narcotics through Ghana. By working collectively, each agency could lend its expertise to further the investigation resulting in the freezing of substantial assets belonging to the illicit transnational organization. Ghana thus far has not utilized the task force model and has not been emphasizing proactive investigation. Participants came from a number of Ghanaian law enforcement agencies, including the Bureau of National Investigation, Criminal Investigation Department, Ghana Revenue Authority, Economic and Organized Crime Office, Ghana Immigration Service, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, and the Attorney General's Office.
Trial Advocacy Skills Training Course in Albania: The OPDAT AC RLA to Albania partnered with the Albanian School of Magistrates to conduct a two week intensive trial advocacy skills Training Course, including a mock trial, from March 19-30. Plans are for the course to be included in the regular curricula of the initial training for prosecutors and judges during the academic year. A Washington State Judge developed the curricula and taught the course with four Albanian prosecutors, certified by the Albanian Institute on Trial Advocacy, whom the Washington State Judge had previously trained. Approximately 20 second and third year students participated in the mock trials and played the roles of judges (under the supervision of sitting judges) and prosecutors in accordance with their respective future career designations. First year students acted as witnesses in the mock trials. During the training, there were several discussion panels of invited judges, prosecutors and defense lawyers. The panels engaged in discussions about current legislation, courtroom practices, and the expected criminal procedure reform.
Regional Workshop on Investigating Cybercrime and Using Electronic Evidence in Guatemala: On March 27-29, OPDAT and CCIPS conducted a program in Guatemala City, Guatemala, for about 36 prosecutors, police investigators, and other government officials dealing with cybercrime issues from seven Central American countries: four delegates each from Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, and 12 from Guatemala. The countries of Central America and the Caribbean are experiencing significant increases in crimes involving computers and the Internet that damage their economy and security. Furthermore, the global reach of the Internet enables individuals, criminal organizations, narcotics violators, and copyright violators located in Latin America and other regions to use computers to harm the society, industry, and security of the United States. For example, the Internet permits theft of identities, money, and services on a massive scale; the planning of terrorist acts and support of terrorist financing; and obtaining data through unlawful access to computer systems. This workshop was designed to teach participants techniques for collecting and analyzing electronic evidence, including introductions to searching and seizing computers and cell phones, online investigations, and forensic analysis. In addition, the participants explored some of the legal and procedural issues related to using electronic evidence in criminal proceedings and the need for global cooperation. By the conclusion of the workshop, participants had acquired sufficient knowledge to recognize the existence and importance of electronic evidence, take basic steps to collect and secure it, conduct simple cybercrime investigations, and understand the procedures needed to obtain evidence located outside their respective countries. US instructors included a CCIPS senior counsel, a cybercrime lab analyst, and a Secret Service special agent.
OPDAT RLA for AML/CTF in Iraq Participates in Training for Palestinian Authority in West Bank: At the request of the Department ofTreasury’s Office of Technical Assistance, OPDAT assisted with a training program for prosecutors in the Palestinian Authority (PA) focused on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Terrorism Financing (AML/CTF). This in turn was in response to the Chief Prosecutor for the PA asking for a four-day workshop for 20 of his prosecutors, regarding methods of obtaining information from other countries, putting together a prosecution case on money laundering and terrorist financing from allegation through trial, and asset forfeiture. The OPDAT RLA for AML/CTF at the US Embassy in Baghdad traveled to the West Bank to assist with the workshop, which took place from March 24–29.
Trial Advocacy Skills Seminar for Prosecutors in Islamabad, Pakistan: On March 19-23, in Islamabad, Pakistan, the OPDAT Intermittent Legal Advisor to Pakistan and United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri taught a one-week trial advocacy course for prosecutors on the front lines of Pakistan’s counter terrorism efforts. The course material included modules on case preparation, direct and cross examination, use of experts, use of forensic evidence, and delivery of opening and closing statements. As part of the week’s training, the Pakistani participants completed a full mock trial. The program is key to OPDAT’s efforts to increase low conviction rates in Pakistan by improving the courtroom competence of the country’s prosecutors.
Environmental Crimes Program in West Sumatra: On March 19-21, the OPDAT RLA and Legal Specialist to Indonesia conducted a program on effective investigation and prosecution of environmental crimes in Bukit Tinggi, West Sumatra. This was the first time any such program has been delivered in this region of Indonesia. Leveraging the expertise of the Attorney General’s Natural Resources Task Force, this program examined how to investigate and prosecute environmental offenses, using Indonesia’s new environmental legislation and regulations. Indonesia faces serious environmental depredation from transnational crime and multi-national corporations which often depart before the extent of environmental damage is apparent.
Presentation on Illegal Logging in Russia: On March 19, one of the OPDAT RLAs to Russia addressed the Russian State Duma’s Natural Resources Committee and other Russian officials and NGO experts concerning illegal logging crimes and important changes to the US Lacey Act concerning the importation into the United States of timber and wood products. The presentation, along with ones from the European Union and Finland, was requested by the Committee as it considers amendments to Russia’s own forest protection laws. Russia has a large percentage of the world’s boreal forests, and Committee members and other experts noted that illegal logging is a very serious problem in the country.
OPDAT Implements Extortion Experts Workshop at the International Law Enforcement Academy in San Salvador, El Salvador: OPDAT, working closely with the FBI, implemented a workshop for extortion experts from Mexico, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Peru. The workshop was held at the International Law Enforcement Academy in San Salvador from March 12-16. The participants included over forty police officers, prosecutors, and judges. The crime of extortion has reached epidemic proportions in parts of Central America and elsewhere in Latin America. Gangs demand extortion payments from both individuals and businesses – and the victims include bus drivers, delivery truck drivers, teachers, medical clinics, and large businesses. It is also believed that many of the homicides in the region are related to extortion. The workshop, which was led by an OPDAT Program Manager and three FBI agents, facilitated an open exchange of ideas, focusing on what has worked to combat extortion in Latin America, what hasn’t, and what might work. The program focused on getting concrete results; by the end of the workshop, each of the participating country teams developed its own written strategy for enhancing its respective country’s ability to combat extortion.
Comprehensive Anti Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing Exchange in Dhaka, Bangladesh: OPDAT, in conjunction with the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section (AFMLS), State Department Bureau of Counter Terrorism, and the interagency Terrorist Financing Working Group, hosted a Comprehensive Anti Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing (AML/CTF) Exchange last week in Dhaka, Bangladesh, from March 11-15. This exchange brought together AML/CTF experts from the US Government with Bangladeshi counterparts to discuss the AML/CTF process from initiation of a matter through prosecution. DOJ experts included the OPDAT RLA to Bangladesh, an Office of International Affairs Trial Attorney, an AFMLS Trial Attorney, and a Trial Attorney from the National Security Division’s Counter Terrorism Section. The program featured practical case exercises, an active exchange of ideas between the US and Bangladesh representatives on the roles of different participants in the AML/CTF effort, and a discussion on how to increase cooperation to combat the global threat of money laundering and terrorist financing. The program was designed to improve the way Bangladeshi agencies and prosecutors work together to build prosecutions.
OPDAT RLA Arrives in San Salvador, El Salvador: OnMarch 12, the RLA to El Salvador began his 18-month tenure, during which he will concentrate on establishing two anti-crime taskforces – one to combat extortion and other crimes against businesses and the other to combat robberies and other crimes involving public transit (buses) used by employees to get to work. When the DOJ El Salvador assistance program, which is part of the President’s Partnership for Growth Initiative, is fully staffed, there will be three OPDAT RLAs, one ICITAP Program Manager, two ICITAP Law Enforcement Advisors, and support staff. Before arriving in El Salvador, the RLA was an AUSA with the District of Nebraska, where he served since July 2008, focusing on OCDETF cases, other felony drug cases, and money laundering and firearms cases. Before that, he served as a Deputy County Attorney for Scotts Bluff County, Nebraska, for five years, beginning in 2003.
DOJ Provides Assistance to Jamaica on Asset Forfeiture and Security Issues: From March 6-8, the OPDAT Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean was in Kingston, Jamaica, as part of an interagency delegation led by a State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary. The delegation was tasked with exploring how to establish a stronger and cooperative relationship with the new Government of Jamaica. Representatives from USAID, and Departments of Commerce, Labor, Education and Treasury also participated. During the two-day trip, the OPDAT Regional Director and Treasury Department representative met with the Director of Public Prosecutions, Ministers of Security and Justice, as well as representatives of the Canadian and British international cooperation efforts, to determine in which areas the Department of Justice could assist and complement current capacity building programs. The Government of Jamaica expressed a need to develop capacity and strategies to forfeit the proceeds and instrumentalities of crime pursuant to its Proceeds of Crime Act. The US Ambassador to Jamaica concurred and is now open to the placement of a Resident Legal Advisor to work on this and other security issues. Justice and Peace Memorial Event in Colombia:
On March 3, the DOJ Justice Sector Reform Program in Colombia, in conjunction with Colombia´s Superior Judicial Council, Ministry of Justice, and Victims Unit of the Presidency, supported a memorial event for 1,400 Justice and Peace victims in Mampujan, Colombia. The goal of the event was to assist the Colombian government in complying with the reparation measures instituted by the first firm and final judgment in Justice and Peace. It included a ceremony of remembrance for the victims of Mampujan, entitled “Remembering the Past, Moving Towards the Future” and the release of a documentary called “Mampujan and San Cayetano: the First Justice and Peace Sentence.” Attendees at the ceremony included more than 1,200 victims that benefited from the sentence, as well as the Colombia Attorney General, Ombudsman and Magistrates from the Supreme Court of Justice, and representatives from Superior Court of Bogota and the Superior Judicial Council, among others. The first Justice and Peace sentence dates back to June 2010, when the Justice and Peace Superior Court in Bogota sentenced Edwar Cobo, alias “Diego Vecino,” and Uber Enrique Banques, alias “Juancho Dique,” for forced displacement, homicide, and kidnapping in the area surrounding Mampujan, Colombia. Both men were commanders of the Heroes de los Montes de Maria
bloc of the Colombian paramilitary group called Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia. In April 2011, the Supreme Court upheld the sentence, making it the first firm and final judgment in Justice and Peace. The sentence recognized more than 1,400 victims and exhorted compliance with a series of reparation measures.
OPDAT First Ever Trial Advocacy Training Program in the Philippines: In an effort to strengthen weak prosecutions skills and bolster slow conviction rates in the Philippines, OPDAT conducted DOJ’s first trial advocacy training program in the Philippines from March 5-9. A Criminal Division Chief for the Eastern District of Michigan, an Assistant US Attorney (AUSA) for the District of Massachusetts, and a Deputy Chief of the Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section, Criminal Division, joined the Manila-based OPDAT Resident Legal Advisor (RLA) to work with 32 anti-corruption prosecutors from the Office of the Ombudsman, the Philippines specialized anti-corruption body. The program covered the basics of trial advocacy--following the DOJ/National Advocacy Center model, but modified to reflect Philippine criminal procedure. US and Philippine instructors discussed and demonstrated opening statements, direct and cross examination of witnesses, use of exhibits, and closing skills, and the participants tested these skills in small group sessions with instructor critique. The US experts, along with the Regional Office of International Affairs Attache, also described the use of electronic evidence, mutual legal assistance, expert witnesses, cooperating witnesses, and other corruption-related topics. The week culminated in two days of mock trials, where the Philippine prosecutors applied the week's lessons in convicting or defending "Jesir Romano,” a fictional defendant. This was the first step in what is planned to be an intensive working relationship with the Ombudsman designed to improve public corruption conviction rates.
OPDAT Delivers Strategic Trade Control Investigation and Prosecution Workshop in Valletta, Malta: Having joined the European Union (EU) in 2004, Malta and Cyprus are two of the EU’s newest member-states, and fill a key role in commerce on the Mediterranean Sea. While both nations have effective legislation to address strategic trade concerns, successful prosecutions of violators of export control and counter-proliferation laws are few. To improve this situation, from March 7-8, OPDAT conducted a workshop on best practices for the investigation and prosecution of violations of strategic trade controls developed to address proliferation of nuclear weapons and conventional trafficking in weapons. Two Counter Espionage Section Trial Attorneys, a Department of Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent, and a Commerce Department Special Agent shared their expertise with customs officials, prosecutors, and investigators from both Cyprus and Malta to improve the capacity of both countries to investigate and prosecute violations of export laws.
OPDAT and CCIPS Conduct Program in Guadalajara, Mexico, with the World Customs Organization Focused on IPR Enforcement at the US-Mexico Border: From March 5-8, a US Department of Justice Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) Attorney and OPDAT, in collaboration with the World Customs Organization (WCO), led a four-day training seminar on "Criminal Enforcement of Intellectual Property at the Border," in Guadalajara, Mexico. The attendees included 60 government officials from Aduanas (Mexican Customs), IMPI (Mexican Patent and Trademark Office), Indautor (Mexican Copyright Office), Cofepris (Mexican FDA) and prosecutors from PGR (Office of the Prosecutor General). This program built on prior law enforcement trainings and introduced the topic of air shipments of counterfeits. Through this program, DOJ hopes to identify up to ten highly-qualified Mexican officials to compete for international IP accreditation through the WCO.
OPDAT RLAs Bring Senior Ukrainian Anti-Corruption Officials to Washington, DC, and Detroit, MI, to Examine Anti-Corruption Best Practices: During the week of February 27-March 2, representatives from the Anti-Corruption Committee of the Ukrainian Rada (Parliament) and the Ministry of Justice, as well as corruption prosecutors and investigators from various part of the country discussed the US experience in implementing corruption prevention and enforcement regimes, including US compliance with international commitments as a party to the UN Convention Against Corruption (to which Ukraine is also a party) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Anti-Bribery Convention. In particular, the participants learned about ethics advisors implementing regular ethics training in large agencies; Inspector General programs; investigating the police; keeping politics out of prosecutions; financial investigations, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, including a presentation from the international business sector on the cost of doing business in countries with a history of corruption. The Ukrainian Parliament is currently debating a draft law on ethics for public officials so this program is particularly timely.
OPDAT to Deliver Trial Skills Training for Indonesian ProsecutorsIndonesia is currently making strides in rule of law development but many prosecutors still need additional training and skills development to vigorously enforce the law. The OPDAT RLA to Indonesia is working closely with the Indonesian government to address the immediate need for prosecutor development and lay the groundwork for Indonesia’s own prosecutor training academy. As part of this effort, from February 27-March 2, the RLA conducted a one-week trial advocacy skills course for Indonesian prosecutors in Jakarta. The program, modeled on the National Advocacy Center trial advocacy course, included lectures, demonstrations, and a mock trial on the final day of the program. A US Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, AUSAs for the Northern District of Georgia and Eastern District of Michigan, and the OPDAT Resident Legal Advisor to Timor-Leste assisted the RLA to Indonesia with the course program. Two prosecutors from Timor-Leste also participated in the program alongside members of the Indonesian Attorney General’s Office.
Trial Advocacy Skills Seminar for Prosecutors in Islamabad, Pakistan: To enhance the ability of prosecutors in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province (KPK) of Pakistan to work with police, better prepare their cases for trial, and effectively prepare evidence, OPDAT continues to conduct intensive trial advocacy training. From February 27-March 2, a Federal District Court Judge traveled to Islamabad, Pakistan, to work with the OPDAT ILA to Pakistan to teach a one-week trial advocacy course for prosecutors, focusing on issues such as case preparation, direct and cross examination, use of experts, use of forensic evidence and delivery of opening and closing statements. As part of the week’s training, the Pakistani participants completed a full mock trial.
OPDAT RLA Conducts Cybercrime and Electronic Evidence Program with the Philippines Department of Justice the Office of the Ombudsman: Held in Tuguegarao City, Philippines, from February 22-23 for 35 prosecutors from the area, this was the fourth in a series of programs focused on obtaining and using electronic evidence in court aimed at prosecutors from the regions. The Philippines has a growing cybercrime challenge, and hopes to be the second Asian country to accede to the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime, to which the US is also a party. The Philippine Congress is currently considering comprehensive cybercrime legislation, which has been reviewed by DOJ's CCIPS and cyber experts at the Council of Europe, and appears to bring its domestic law largely in compliance with the Budapest Convention.
OPDAT Addresses Organized Crime and Corruption in Bulgaria: From February 20-24, a Public Integrity Section Senior Deputy Chief represented OPDAT at a series of meetings, conferences, and round table discussions with Bulgarian and US Embassy Sofia officials regarding efforts by the Government of Bulgaria to combat organized crime and corruption. He provided training on best practices to members of the Bulgarian judicial community who focus on corruption offenses. His trip is part of an ongoing and sustained effort to train members of the Bulgarian Prosecution Service and other Bulgarian law enforcement organizations in combating organized crime and public corruption. Prior to this trip, a member of the Organized Crime and Gang Section played a key role in OPDAT Bulgaria’s Prosecutorial Strengthening Initiative, traveling to Bulgaria a number of times to conduct trainings on trial advocacy and organized crime and to work with Bulgarian judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement officials to enhance and strengthen the rule of law in Bulgaria.
DOJ Participates in Meeting to Coordinate Counternarcotics and Anti-Crime Assistance to West Africa: On February 21, the Criminal Division Deputy Assistant Attorney General (DAAG) represented the Department at a Conference of Experts that convened in Washington, DC, on the sidelines of the general meetings of the G8 Roma-Lyon Group. In addition to G8 members, the Conference of Experts included delegates from Brazil, Colombia, Portugal, Spain, and the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime. The purpose of the meeting was to improve coordination among stakeholders for counternarcotics and anti-crime assistance in West Africa. Among other points, the DAAG described the efforts of the Department, through OPDAT and its participation in the State Department’s West Africa Cooperative Strategic Initiative (WACSI), to provide legal assistance in West Africa and the need to coordinate all assistance efforts among the donor countries.
Senior Officials from Philippines Attend Asset Management Program: The OPDAT RLA to Philippines and an Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section Senior Trial Attorney arranged for a senior official from the Philippine Commission on Good Governance and one from the Philippines Ministry of Finance to attend the February 7-17 Asset Forfeiture Academy organized by the United States Marshals Service (USMS) in Houston, Texas. During the program, the two officials learned the nuts and bolts of asset management, including the USMS Consolidated Asset Tracking System, which the Philippine Government is interested in adopting. The program is part of a larger project established last December by the RLA to Philippines and Philippine asset management interagency working group to develop an asset management law to address the current uncertainty regarding how to handle seized assets.
Kenyan, Pakistani, and Filippino Prosecutors Attend NAC Trial Advocacy Course: OPDAT, through its RLA to Kenya, provides advice and technical assistance to judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement officers in Kenya and the region to improve their ability to prosecute complex money laundering, terrorism, and terrorism financing offenses. From February 4-16, OPDAT, in cooperation with the National Advocacy Center (NAC) in Columbia, South Carolina, hosted a multinational delegation of prosecutors at the basic criminal trial advocacy seminar. A Kenyan prosecutor from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions who handles murder and corruption cases attended this event, along with three prosecutors from Pakistan and one from the Philippines. Three Kenyan prosecutors attended this same course in September 2011. The course focused on all aspects of trial preparation and presentation. The prosecutors also received training on ethics and professionalism. As part of the US-based program, the delegations also met with the US Attorney in Columbia, SC; attended a sentencing hearing in US District Court; and heard oral arguments at the South Carolina Supreme Court. Additional meetings were held with NAC administrators to discuss developing a national training strategy for the Kenyan prosecution service. This program provided key skills training to the prosecutors and substantially strengthened important US Embassy partnerships in the region.
OPDAT Deploys First Resident Legal Advisor to Bamako, Mali: During the week of February 13, OPDAT deployed the first ever RLA to the US Embassy in Bamako, Mali, where the RLA will focus on capacity building programs designed to enhance the ability of Mali criminal justice sector officials to investigate, prosecute, and adjudicate terrorist based activity. An AUSA since 2008, the new RLA to Mali has experience litigating complex fraud cases and conducting long-term investigations pursuant to RICO, the FCA, the Controlled Substances Act, and other civil enforcement statutes, in collaboration with agents and investigators.
DOJ Participates in Global Counter Terrorism Horn of Africa Meeting:On February 8-10, the European Union and Turkey hosted the inaugural Global Counterterrorism Forum’s (GCTF) Horn of Africa working group meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The GCTF brought together experts from various countries to deliberate on issues related to tackling security and terrorism threats in the Horn of Africa/Yemen Region. The agenda focused on counterterrorism prevention and promoting the rule of law in the Horn of Africa with the goal of developing capacity in the region to detect, prevent, and prosecute terrorism and the financing of terrorism through legislative and training efforts. The OPDAT RLA to Kenya made a presentation during the rule of law module on the importance of developing strong rule of law infrastructure to allow countries to prevent, detect, and prosecute terrorist threats. A DOJ National Security Division Trial Attorney also participated. Both DOJ prosecutors highlighted the need for effective legislation, international cooperation, donor coordination, and police and prosecutors training. Woven into the discussion was the need to develop investigative tools, such as wire tapping and use of cooperators, and understand the emerging technologies that can be exploited by criminals.
DOJ and Interpol Conduct IP Program in Panama City, Panama: From February 6-10, OPDAT and CCIPS joined with Interpol to conduct an “Intellectual Property (IP) Rights Training Enforcement Seminar and IP Crime Regional Planning Meeting” in Panama City, Panama, for more than 70 police, prosecutors, customs agents, and intellectual property law enforcement experts from Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, and Nicaragua. The program covered the tools and techniques used to identify, target, and dismantle transnational organized crime groups involved in the manufacture and distribution of counterfeit goods. Industry representatives from Hewlett Packard, Schneider Electric, Microsoft, and Sony, among others, also shared their experiences and specialized knowledge. This event is part of a series of trainings coordinated by DOJ with Interpol which began in December 2011 in Mexico City, designed to develop inter-agency and cross-border cooperation to combat all types of intellectual property crimes. Panama was chosen as the site this time because of the large volume of counterfeiting activity that takes place at the Panama Canal and the Seaport of Colon. In fact, field trips to both sites were part of the training so that the participants could view firsthand the tools used to interrupt the flow of counterfeit goods: different types of scanner equipment, physical inspection of containers, as well as chemical precursor detectors and radiation monitors.
Anti-Money Laundering and Counterterrorist Financing Workshop for Iraqi Officials: During the week of February 4, one of the OPDAT RLAs to Iraq conducted a three day workshop in Amman, Jordan, to prepare key Iraqi officials for their upcoming Financial Action Task Force (FATF) review. The workshop focused key Iraqi stakeholders on the country’s existing AML/CTF deficiencies and on the steps the government and its relevant institutions need to take to begin addressing those deficiencies. Participating Iraqi stakeholders included representatives from the Central Bank, Money Laundering Reporting Office, Council of Ministers, the Supreme Economics Committee, and the Kurdish Regional Government. The upcoming review by the regional FATF review body (the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force [MENAFATF]) is scheduled for later this spring, so the workshop was a key step in encouraging practical Iraqi prep for the review process. The Jordanian Financial Intelligence Unit assisted in the organization of this program.
OPDAT Delivers Trial Advocacy Skills Seminar to Prosecutors in Karachi, Pakistan: FromJanuary 30-February 3, a US Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin traveled to Karachi, Pakistan, to teach a one-week basic trial advocacy skills course for prosecutors from Pakistan’s Sindh Province with the OPDAT RLA and ILA to Pakistan. OPDAT has been working since 2011 with Sindh Province’s prosecutors to assist local prosecutors develop the skills necessary to successfully try cases effectively in court.
OPDAT Conducts Interviewing and Interrogation Training with FBI in Georgia:
One of the two OPDAT RLAs to Georgia worked with FBI agents from Quantico, VA, from January 30-February 3, to train Georgian investigators and prosecutors on how to conduct interviews and interrogations under Georgia’s new Criminal Procedure Code (CPC). The new CPC brings many concepts and procedures which are similar to the US Code, as OPDAT has been helping Georgia to adapt to a new adversarial system, which is also more due process oriented. These training sessions highlighted best US practices in non-compelled witness interviews. Additionally, the RLA and an AUSA from the Southern District of Ohio made presentations on investigator-prosecutor cooperation and the securing of witness testimony.
US-Based Training for Ukraine: From January 28-February 5, a delegation of senior-level Ukrainian government officials from the Justice Ministry, Presidential Administration, and Parliament participated in a US-based study tour in Miami, Florida; and Washington, DC; intended to highlight how an adversarial criminal justice system works in practice. The Government of Ukraine (GOU) recently submitted a new Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) to its legislature, which – if passed – would introduce adversarial criminal proceedings and a number of other reforms to bring Ukraine into compliance with their obligations as a party to the European Convention on Human Rights and other international criminal standards. This US program provided the Ukrainian participants with opportunities to observe and discuss pre-trial detention proceedings, administration of a public defender service, use of plea agreements, and the administration of a jury trial system. The program also included discussion of the checks and balances inherent in the roles and responsibilities of the judiciary, prosecution and defense as well as ethics and integrity programs for government officials, including prosecutors and members of the legislature.
US-Based Program on Pharmaceutical Fraud for Russian Delegation: From January 28-February 4, a Russian delegation, led by one of the two OPDAT RLAs to Russia, visited Washington, DC, to participate in a US-based training program focused on the investigation and prosecution of fraud in the pharmaceutical industry. The delegation consisted primarily of officials from the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service, the agency which has played the most active role on this issue in Russia, as well as participants from the General Prosecutor’s Office, Investigative Committee, Ministry of Economic Development, and Ministry of Health and the Presidential Administration. While in the United States, they focused on the following issues: collusion between pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors to limit market access; misbranding, fraudulent representations about product capacities and fraud in product registration; corrupt relations between companies and doctors; counterfeit pharmaceuticals; and schemes to limit access of generics to markets.
Court Security Program in Indonesia: On January 30, the OPDAT RLA to Indonesia and experts from the United States Marshal Service began training 28 police officers to serve as Indonesia's first court security officers. This training is part of an extensive project undertaken by OPDAT with the Indonesian Supreme Court and national police to address the lack of court security in terrorism trials in Indonesia. OPDAT will also work to draft new court security legislation, including contempt of court statutes, and a comprehensive security manual for courts in Indonesia.
OPDAT Conducts Trial Skills Training for Georgian ProsecutorsFrom January 27-29, one of the two OPDAT Resident Legal Advisors (RLAs) to Georgia conducted a trial skills program for Georgian prosecutors. It involved two days of classroom trainings and trial advocacy exercises taught by the RLA in the INL/DOJ mock courtroom at the Georgian Ministry of Justice. On the third day of the exercise (Saturday), prosecutors and defense attorneys participated in mock trials at the Tbilisi City Courthouse. Georgian judges gave up their Saturday to preside over the mock trials, and local law students acted as witnesses and as jurors. The RLA trial skills training is conducted in collaboration with the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative, which trained defense attorneys for the Saturday mock trial exercise.
US-Philippines Bilateral Strategic Dialogue: From January 26-27, the DOJ participated in the United State-Philippines Bilateral Strategic Dialogue (BSD) in Washington, DC. The BSD is an annual high-level meeting between the two governments focusing on four key areas: defense, rule of law, regional diplomacy, and economics and trade. During the first day, the Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division led a DOJ delegation addressing transnational crime. On the second day, the OPDAT RLA to Indonesia led the joint rule of law working group meeting, concentrating on three broad areas of growing bilateral cooperation: money laundering, terrorism finance, and asset management; narcotics and trafficking interdiction; and forensics, database sharing, and cybercrime. The parties have developed an action plan to focus cooperation efforts in these areas in the coming year.
Cybercrime Program in Philippines: On January 26-27, the OPDAT RLA to the Philippines conducted a cybercrime and electronic evidence program with the Philippines Department of Justice (PDOJ) and the Office of the Ombudsman (the Philippines specialized anti-corruption body) for 40 prosecutors in Davao, Philippines. The Philippines has a growing cybercrime challenge and even traditional crimes increasingly include digital components. This program is the third of a series of programs aimed at prosecutors from major metropolitan areas focusing on obtaining and using electronic evidence in court, and the first program held in the politically-troubled island of Mindanao. On a national level, the Government of the Philippines is considering comprehensive cybercrime legislation, and the Council of Europe has invited the Republic of the Philippines to be the second Asian country to accede to the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime.
Evaluation of Judicial Security in Indonesia: On January 26, the OPDAT RLA to Indonesia, the Acting Director of Judicial Security, US Marshals Service (USMS), and the Director of International Operations, USMS, presented an evaluation of judicial security in Indonesia to the Indonesian Supreme Court. The report, which represents months of work, highlights the need for important legislation, including contempt of Court authority, need for court security officers inside the courtroom, and a court security manual outlining basic security protocols to be implemented in courthouses throughout Indonesia. Now that the court security evaluation has been completed, DOJ OPDAT will work closely with the Supreme Court to implement these recommendations.
RLA Completes Three-Year Tour in Moldova: On January 26, Ambassador and Mrs. Moser, US Embassy Chisinau, hosted a reception at their home in honor of the OPDAT RLA, who had just ended her three-year tour in Moldova. Ambassador Moser thanked the RLA for her significant contributions to the OPDAT program in assisting Moldova's justice sector. This included developing a series of continuing legal education workshops at the National Institute of Justice, creating an internship program for English-speaking NIJ students, bringing about the co-location of prosecutors with the investigators at the Center for Combating Trafficking in Persons, as well as placing a former federal prosecutor to serve as a prosecutorial advisor to provide mentoring and guidance to this joint task force, through a cooperative agreement grant with IOM (International Organization for Migration). The Ambassador also noted her work with the Prosecutor General's Office and the Superior Council of Prosecutors. In 2011, Prosecutor General (PG) Valeriu Zubco awarded the RLA to Moldova with a "Cross for Merit" at the PGO's annual award ceremony, recognizing her valuable work with the Procuracy.
OPDAT Delivers Export Enforcement and Counter-Proliferation Prosecution Skills Workshop in Abu Dhabi, UAE: From January 25-26, in Abu Dhabi, UAE, an OPDAT RLA to the Gulf Region conducted an export enforcement and counter-proliferation prosecution skills workshop for officials from the United Arab Emirates Ministries charged with export enforcement. Assisting him were a Counter Espionage Section Trial Attorney, Assistant Chief Counsel for Foreign Assets Control in the Department of Treasury, an FBI Special Agent, a DHS/Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Special Agent, a Professor from the National Defense University, and a Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement. The US team covered best practices in the investigation and prosecution of export violations and worked with Emirati officials to identify strategies for increased export enforcement in the United Arab Emirates. This is the third export enforcement program in the United Arab Emirates since 2009.
Advocacy Skills Teacher Training in Macedonia: From January 24-26, OPDAT Macedonia, in conjunction with the Academy for Judges and Prosecutors, hosted the second part of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy Train the Trainers program, presented by a Judge from the 8th Judicial Circuit of Illinois and professors from Hofstra Law School in Hempstead, New York, and San Francisco, California. All three are highly experienced trial advocacy teachers and training advocacy trainers. The OPDAT RLA to Macedonia, also a certified NITA instructor, facilitated the event. The attendees were 25 Macedonian trainers (judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys and law enforcement), who will assist in the implementation of the new adversarial Criminal Procedure Code enacted last year, effective November 2012. The first part of the NITA training in April last year significantly helped them in teaching other practitioners about the new CPC throughout 2011. The same group will continue to teach throughout 2012 and are expected to benefit from the advanced unique NITA teaching model and techniques, lectures, demonstrations, drills, video reviews and critiquing methodology. These skills are used to enhance trial skills of direct and cross examination, as well as of opening and closing arguments. The goal of the training is to enhance the skills of local trainers and further bolster the quality of basic trainings on the new CPC, particularly on new US style adversarial tools.
OPDAT and CCIPS Conduct Online Investigations and Electronic Evidence Workshop for North Africa and the Middle East in Malta: Between January 24-26, OPDAT and CCIPS, with the assistance of the FBI, conducted a workshop for foreign prosecutors and police officials on online investigations and electronic evidence in Malta. Nearly 50 senior prosecutors and investigators from thirteen countries (Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates) took part. Attendees received training in digital forensics, online investigative techniques, and conducting transnational investigations. They also participated in a simulated cybercrime investigation. The workshop built on earlier anti-computer crime trainings throughout Africa and will be followed by another electronic evidence and cybercrime workshop focused on East Africa later this year.
Program on Financial Crimes in Macedonia: On January 18-20, the OPDAT Resident Legal Advisor (RLA) to Macedonia facilitated a seminar on “Investigating and Prosecuting Financial Crimes” in Skopje, for Macedonian prosecutors, judges, and law enforcement, as well as for five prosecutors from Bulgaria. This program was OPDAT’s response to the growing need of Macedonian practitioners to enhance their skills in investigating and prosecuting complex financial crimes, as these types of crimes continue to occur with great frequency. In fact, some judges have openly asked for trainings on handling multi-defendant financial and/or cybercrime cases with a lot of evidence. The DOJ presenters sharing their expertise were two Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSAs) from the Eastern District of Texas, who did so via substantive lectures on money laundering, fraud schemes, computer crimes, asset forfeiture, and a guided hypothetical case study. The goal of this program is to improve Macedonian practitioners’ skills and confidence in trying these cases so that they will withstand appellate review.
Victim/Witness Assistance Program in Georgia: From January 13-15, an OPDAT RLA to Georgia conducted a workshop in Telavi, Georgia, with Georgian Justice Minister Zurab Adeishvili and Chief Prosecutor Murtaz Zodelava. The workshop was designed to evaluate current progress with an eye towards identifying future directions for the newly formed Victim/Witness (V/W) Coordinator Program at the Georgian Prosecutor’s Office. The V/W Coordinator positions are styled after similar positions in US Attorney’s Offices. A comprehensive report on how Georgian citizens have responded to the new V/W Coordinator program was presented at the workshop, and prosecutors assessed the utility of the program. Future trainings for the Victim/Witness Coordinators will emphasize serving victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and trafficking in persons. OPDAT plans to expand its technical assistance to include training prosecutors who are designated specifically to handle vulnerable victim cases. It is hoped that these initiatives will increase the number of domestic violence cases that are prosecuted each year and will provide better care for the unique needs of domestic violence victims and sexual assault victims during the formal criminal court process.
Follow-Up to Judicial Training in Kenya: On January 9, the OPDAT Resident Legal Advisor (RLA) to Kenya and a Judge serving on the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (Chicago) met with officials from the Department of State and OPDAT to discuss their recent participation in the inaugural training for the newly-created Kenyan Supreme Court. During that training, US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor addressed the members of the Kenyan Supreme Court in a prerecorded speech. The Court of Appeals Judge also described trial advocacy training programs for Kenyan judges, prosecutors, and lawyers that she had conducted in collaboration with OPDAT and Lawyers Without Borders. Additionally, both the RLA to Kenya and Court of Appeals Judge met with the Federal Judicial Center regarding assistance to the Kenyan Judicial Training Institute, an entity that provides training for judges in Kenya.
Program on Proposed Draft Criminal Procedure Code in Armenia: On December 17-18, in Tsakhkadzor, Armenia, the OPDAT Resident Legal Advisor to Armenia conducted the second in a series of programs on the proposed draft to the Armenian Criminal Procedure Code. Forty-three Armenian practitioners attended, including judges of the Cassation Court, prosecutors, defense attorneys, police investigators, as well as the scholars from Yerevan State University who are drafting the new code. OPDAT is working to reform Armenia’s criminal procedure code so as to strengthen the presumption of innocence, require greater accountability from police officers, increase judicial independence, and promote better practices (such as pre-trial hearings to determine whether evidence was legally obtained). OPDAT will hold over a dozen programs on the new criminal procedure code to promote its acceptance and understanding among the country’s legal practitioners. Two Trial Advocacy Programs Conducted in Pakistan:
On December 19, the OPDAT Resident Legal Advisor to Pakistan gave a lecture on cross-examination techniques to over 70 law students at the Quaid-e-Azam Law College in Lahore. The other two private law colleges in Lahore are now requesting that similar lectures be given to their students, with the hope that one day a clinical program can be established at each of the schools.
On December 12-16, the RLA to Pakistan conducted a week-long seminar in “Case Preparation and Trial Advocacy Skills” for 30 Sindh prosecutors in Karachi, Sindh Province. The program is modeled on the National Advocacy Center trial advocacy course and includes lecture, demonstration, and participation. This is the sixth such program held in Karachi this year. The Prosecutor General has requested that all 300 Sindh prosecutors go through this course, 30 at a time. In addition to the RLA to Pakistan, the primary instructors were a US District Chief Judge and the OPDAT RLA to Kosovo. Guest lectures were given by experts from the DOJ’s International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP) on crime scenes and collection of forensic evidence, and three Pakistani attorneys on police coordination, case screening, and cybercrime. The Sindh Prosecutor General reemphasized to the RLA to Pakistan how much his prosecutors’ morale and conviction rate have increased due to the OPDAT train and equip programs.
Anti-Money Laundering Legislation Drafted with OPDAT Assistance Passed in Timor-Leste: On December 12, the National Parliament of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste passed anti-money laundering legislation that was prepared with substantial assistance from the former OPDAT Resident Legal Advisor (RLA) to Timor-Leste. The legislation passed by a vote of 32-0, with 4 abstaining. This is a significant step forward for Timor-Leste, as passage paves the way for prosecution of money laundering and reporting on financial transactions as part of a methodology—the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) “40 + 9 Recommendations”—adopted by the international community. Although the legislation lacks some provisions that would have made it fully compliant with FATF (notably absent are provisions for extradition, transparency of legal persons and arrangements, and enhanced scrutiny of transactions with politically exposed persons), it is a very important first step by the government of Timor-Leste in combating money laundering and terrorist financing. President Jose Ramos-Horta is expected to sign the legislation into law.
Timely OPDAT Victim/Witness Programs in Albania Coincide with International Initiatives Against Gender Violence and Recognition of International Human Rights Day: An OPDAT RLA to Albania and Embassy Tirana’s Public Affairs Office collaborated on three programs on victim/witness issues in the criminal justice sector in Shkoder (December 5-6), Pogradec (December 8-9), and Tirana (December 12-15). The programs coincided with several international initiatives, including 16 Days Against Gender Violence (November 25–December 10) and International Human Rights Day (December 12). US Ambassador to Albania Alexander A. Arvizu and Albania’s Minister of Interior opened the program in Tirana, which was covered live by a number of national television broadcasters. Echoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Ambassador noted that gender violence is not just violence against women but also any violence directed against a person based on sex, gender identity, or perceived adherence to social norms of masculinity and femininity. All three trainings, led by an Assistant US Attorney and a Victim Witness Specialist, both from the US Attorney’s Office in Washington, DC, included presentations by Albanian judges, prosecutors, police, and various NGOs on various topics dealing with domestic violence, trafficking, and child victims. Training sessions by US instructors included the history of victims’ rights in the US, special needs victims, and compassion fatigue. For the first time in a US-sponsored training in Albania, a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) activist and a judicial police officer participated in a panel discussion at the Tirana training on violence against LGBT persons and how the police and others in the criminal justice system should respond to such violence. This program is consistent with President Obama’s December 6, 2011 Executive Order “directing all agencies engaged abroad to ensure that US diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons.”
Police-Prosecutor Cooperation Training In Islamabad, Pakistan: From December 12-16, in Islamabad, an OPDAT Intermittent Legal Advisor to Pakistan conducted a training program for 24 Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) Province prosecutors and 24 KPK police officers. This group included a prosecutor and a police officer from each district in KPK. Currently, prosecutions suffer because police officers and prosecutors do not work together. Police officers claim that the prosecutors don’t thoroughly advocate the cases, and the prosecutors claim that the police don’t investigate properly. OPDAT has successfully worked with KPK’s Home Secretary to foster cooperation among the two services. As an initial step, the Home Secretary has issued an order requiring prosecutors to examine each case the police present to determine if the case is ready for prosecution. The prosecutors then have the discretion to accept or decline any case. Using a mock murder case, OPDAT worked with the prosecutors and the police to help them implement the Home Secretary’s order. With ICITAP’s assistance, OPDAT helped KPK officials learn how to screen those cases that should be prosecuted from all cases that are investigated.
Regional Anti-Corruption Program for West Africa: From December 12-15, OPDAT conducted a regional anti-corruption program in Freetown, Sierra Leone, for West African investigators and prosecutors from Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo. Issues ranging from international standards/tools to recover assets and combat corruption to investigation/prosecution techniques were addressed. Expert presenters included an AUSA from the Eastern District, New York; the Public Integrity Section Senior Deputy Chief for Litigation; a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent; and representatives from the State Department, INTERPOL, and the Brazilian Office of the Attorney General. This program was the third in a series of regional anti-corruption programs in Africa that OPDAT has developed in collaboration with the State Department’s anti-corruption office within the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement.
DOJ Support of National Mock Trials in Colombia Promotes Better Understanding of Accusatory System: The DOJ Justice Sector Reform Program (JSRP) in Colombia sponsored the National Final Mock Trial Competition, on December 12, which took place in Cartagena. A total of seven Colombian Law Schools competed and the winners were 6 students from the Universidad de Cartagena, Cartagena, and the Universidad Catόlica de Colombia, Bogotá. The objective of this competition is to encourage the development of a deeper understanding and commitment towards the new accusatory system among law students and professors. To date, the Department of Justice has offered training on the accusatory system to more than 1,000 students from 82 law schools throughout Colombia; many of the students trained have competed in the competition. The JSRP will sponsor a study tour to Washington, DC, to all the students who competed in the National Final Mock Trial Competition.
Roundtable in Macedonia on Working With Media:On December 7, the OPDAT RLA to Macedonia conducted a program designed solely for prosecutors and journalists, entitled “Working with Media.” The first of its kind in Macedonia, it was OPDAT’s response to currently challenging relations between these two professions, overburdened with mutual mistrust, even fear. The objective of the event was to initiate a dialog, and start building trust, respect, and cooperation. OPDAT encouraged both parties to act with professionalism, ethics, and transparency in exercising their function to the benefit of the citizens. This issue is even more important as the implementation of the new adversarial Criminal Procedure Code approaches, since the public will be more interested how prosecutors exercise their significantly increased responsibilities. United States Ambassador Paul D. Wohlers delivered remarks at the official opening. Opening remarks were also made by Macedonian officials, including State Attorney General Ljupco Shvrgovski, President of the Prosecutors Association Marko Zvrlevski, President of the Association of Media in Macedonia Naser Selmani, and President of the Managing Board of the Academy for Judges and Public Prosecutors, Ljubomir Joveski.
OPDAT Plays Key Role in Justice Sector Development Coordination Working Group in Kenya: OPDAT continued to strengthen its key partnerships in Kenya by forming and chairing a justice sector working group to facilitate an informal exchange among development partners and donors who work with the Kenyan justice sector (e.g., judiciary, prosecution service, and police). The meeting, which took place on December 6, allowed those providing technical assistance to outline their priorities, current programming, and future events. The goal was to help those working in Kenya to better coordinate their work, reduce duplication, and to improve efficiency. The meeting was planned by the OPDAT RLA to Kenya in coordination with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), a German-based organization that provides aid and technical assistance in Kenya. Participants included the US Embassy, British High Commission, United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, World Bank, Federal Bureau of Investigation, UK Department for International Development, Royal Embassy of Denmark, Embassy of Sweden, GIZ, and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. OPDAT also formed and chairs the Anti-Money Laundering Roundtable, a more specialized working group, that focuses on issues related to economic crime, money laundering offenses, and asset forfeiture.
OPDAT and CCIPS Conduct IPR Enforcement Program with Interpol in Mexico City: From December 4-8, OPDAT and a CCIPS Trial Attorney collaborated with Interpol to conduct a joint training program on criminal intellectual property (IP) rights enforcement, in Mexico City, Mexico. The five-day event brought together more than 50 officials from police, PGR (Attorney General’s office), Aduanas (Mexican customs), IMPI (Mexican Patent and Trademark Office), Indautor (Mexican Copyright Office), Cofepris (Mexican FDA), as well as intellectual property law enforcement experts from neighboring Guatemala and Belize. Also participating as instructors were agents from the FBI as well as Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Patrol. The second phase of this program will take place in 2012 in Mexico City, and will include a practical component where Mexican law enforcement from the different agencies mentioned above will apply what they learned, by jointly planning and working together on an interagency and cross-border investigation. The purpose of this first ever joint DOJ-Interpol cooperation was to increase synergy between the two agencies in criminal enforcement capacity-building, and, by bringing the expertise of both to the table, enhance the capacity of Mexican law enforcement to build stronger criminal IP cases.
OPDAT Conducts Anti-Terrorism and Money Laundering Forum in Puerto Vallarta: To assist the Government of Mexico (GoM) in addressing the recent bombings and arsons committed by Mexican cartels against civilians in highly populated areas, OPDAT from November 30-December 2, brought together AUSAs, FBI, DEA, IRS and ATF agents to share their expertise on anti-terrorism measures and the use of financial evidence to identify, investigate, prosecute, and convict those involved in such activities, with approximately 80 officials from the GoM. The forum covered the role of terror in cartel activity, reviewed Mexico's new terrorism law, included presentations on the use of the Internet in terrorism activity and terrorist financing, and several practical exercises. It emphasized the importance of team work and task force type investigations to attack such crimes.
OPDAT Program on Combating Counterfeit Medicines: From November 30-December 1, in Lima, Peru, OPDAT implemented its third workshop in Latin America on combating counterfeit medications. OPDAT Program Manager Robert Lipman and Assistant US Attorney Sebastian Kielmanovich (Eastern District, North Carolina) provided technical assistance on combating intellectual property rights crimes to over 40 stakeholders from Peru, including prosecutors, police, and representatives from the Ministry of Health and pharmaceutical manufacturers. By the conclusion of the workshop, representatives of the prosecutors’ office and Ministry of Health had reached agreement to work collaboratively on counterfeit medications cases, and the participants had drafted a handbook on conducting counterfeit medications investigations and prosecutions.
Environmental Protection Program in Russia: An OPDAT RLA to Russia and attorneys from DOJ’s Environmental and Natural Resources Division organized and participated in an International Forest Protection Forum in St. Petersburg, Russia, November 29-December 1. They joined top officials of the Russian Ministry of Justice Legal Academy, leading scientific experts from the US Forestry Service and Russian Forestry Agency, law enforcement professionals, and industry and NGO specialists from Russia, United States, and Finland. The program addressed the scope of the problem in Russia and worldwide, as well as scientific techniques and modern legal tools, such as the amended US Lacey Act, that are being used to investigate and prosecute those who are illegally destroying Russia’s forests for their own profit.
US Ambassador Recognizes Success of New Alerta Amber System in Mexico: On November 29, in Mexico City, at a US Embassy-sponsored training course for emergency service telephone operators from around the country, Ambassador Anthony Wayne today hailed the early successes of the states of Morelos, San Luis Potosi, Sonora, and the Federal District of Mexico in implementing the new National Amber Alert Protocol, adopted nationwide in April of this year. Cooperation and quick action by law enforcement and government officials of these states, under the Amber Alert system, has already led to the recovery of two missing teenagers and reunification with their families. On hand to receive the Ambassador's congratulations were Governor Fernando Toranzo Fernandez of San Luis Potosi, the Secretary of Government and the Attorney General of that state, as well as representatives of the government and law enforcement organisms of Morelos, Sonora, and the Federal District of Mexico. Working-level officials of these states, who participated in locating and returning the youngsters to their families, were also on hand to receive the Ambassador's recognition and thanks. OPDAT support, and in particular the hard work of an RLA to Mexico, were instrumental to the success of this Merida initiative.
First OPDAT Program Conducted Under the Presidential Partnership for Growth Initiative: From November 28-December 1, the OPDAT RLA to Philippines led a delegation from the Philippines Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to Washington, DC, to discuss criminal tax prosecution strategies with the DOJ/Tax and the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service. Voluntary tax compliance historically has been extremely low in the Philippines, and President Aquino has made tax enforcement a top priority. He charged the BIR with developing a criminal capacity under the BIR's Run After Tax Evaders (RATE) unit. The RATE visit was the first program conducted under the Presidential Partnership for Growth initiative, signed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Manila on November 16. The visit involved excellent collaboration with the World Bank, which funded the expenses of the BIR delegation, and OPDAT, which organized the visit.
OPDAT’s Work Honored by the Kyrgyz Government: During the November 26, “Prosecutor’s Day” ceremony at the National Philharmonic Hall honoring the 87th Anniversary of the founding of the Kyrgyz Prosecution Service, the OPDAT RLA to Kyrgyzstan was awarded a “Medal of Commendation” by the Kyrgyz government and the Prosecutor General for the work that OPDAT is doing in the country. OPDAT has led the way in training Kyrgyz prosecutors on topics as varied as money laundering, counter-narcotics, ethics, trafficking in persons and domestic violence as well as worked to ensure the country is meeting its international commitments under UN human rights and corruption conventions. Of particular note are the RLA’s significant efforts to engage and assist regional prosecutors who face unique challenges and circumstances in an overwhelmingly undeveloped and mountainous country. To date, he has visited nearly all of the regional offices. OPDAT continues to work closely with the US Ambassador and international organizations to ensure the passage of a modern criminal procedure code.
Guilty Verdict in Georgia’s First Ever Jury Trial: On November 17, a 12-member jury (8 women and 4 men) delivered a guilty verdict in the Republic of Georgia’s first jury trial four hours after the closing arguments were concluded. The case, which commenced on November 7, involved the 1994 murder in Tbilisi of three people from the same family. Two of the three arrested suspects pled guilty; the third opted for a trial by jury, which found him guilty of “aggregated murder and assisting in burglary committed by a group.” From all accounts, the trial was considered a fair proceeding that was “well-run, and presented a compelling view of the jury as fact finders.” The jury system was introduced in Georgia in October 2010, with the coming into force of a new Criminal Procedure Code, which OPDAT played a significant role in crafting. The OPDAT Eurasia Regional Director and a series of talented Resident Legal Advisors have worked for many years to assist Georgia in its efforts to establish a modern adversarial system of criminal justice, including trial by jury. Starting in October 2012, jury trials will expand to Georgia’s second largest city of Kutaisi. Although currently available only in cases of aggravated murder, jury trials will soon be expanded to include other forms of murder, rape, and other serious crimes.
OPDAT Assistance Instrumental in Strengthening Free Press in Armenia: On November 15, the Armenian Constitutional Court issued a decision which strengthens the free press in Armenia. The Court upheld the constitutionality of the Armenian civil defamation laws, but the opinion closely followed the case law of the European Court of Human Rights in cautioning trial judges against imposing high damages which would discourage the proper working of a free press in a democracy. The Constitutional Court decision is a strong demonstration of US DOJ impact: OPDAT sponsored a judicial conference in August in which the OPDAT RLA to Armenia and two judges of the European Court guided the Armenian judges on balancing the rights of those defamed with the greater interests of the public. The Constitutional Court decision directly flows from the discussions held at that OPDAT conference. The issue was a very serious concern to the Embassy because there had been several defamation judgments imposing high costs on opposition newspapers for printing statements about powerful politicians, thereby discouraging freedom of expression.
OPDAT Participates in World Bank Program: The OPDAT Deputy Director represented the Department of Justice in a panel discussion on November 15 as part of the World Bank’s 2011 Law, Justice Development Week. Asked to participate in a panel on New Directions in Criminal Justice Work at the World Bank, she addressed the challenges and best practices of international criminal justice sector capacity building, as well as DOJ’s role and methodology in implementing global technical assistance programs. Joining her on the panel were representatives of the International Association of Prosecutors, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the World Bank. OPDAT has collaborated with the World Bank on programs addressing anti-corruption, procurement integrity, money laundering, asset forfeiture, and environmental crimes in and with countries ranging from Russia, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Kenya.
US-Based Witness Protection Program for Turkish Delegation: From November 14-16, the OPDAT RLA to Turkey led a delegation of 12 senior Turkish police officials, who comprise the Turkish Witness Protection Program (TWP) Board of Directors, on a US-based study program in Washington, DC, to become more familiar with the US Witness Security Program. The Board learned about US decision-making and the assessment process for witnesses entering the program. The TWP is part of the Ministry of the Interior and is administered by the Turkish National Police. During the delegation’s visit to Washington, DC, they met with members of the Criminal Division’s Office of Enforcement Operations and with members of the US Marshals Service responsible for day-to-day operation of the witness security program in the United States. This program is part of the RLA’s ongoing anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terror program in Turkey.
Program on Probation and Alternatives to Incarceration for Russian Delegation: During the week of November 14, an OPDAT RLA to Russia conducted a US-based study program on best practices in probation and alternatives to incarceration for three officials from the Russian Ministry of Justice. The Russian delegates are all part of a working group which drafted a bill currently pending before the Duma which would provide judges with wider discretion in sentencing including the discretion to sentence defendants to community service and drug treatment in lieu of incarceration in appropriate cases. In support of the new law, the Ministry is also seeking to create a probation service modeled on the US probation service. During the trip, the delegation met with federal judges and representatives of the Probation Department and Bureau of Prisons, attended sentencings in federal court, and also visited halfway houses. They indicated that the program was extremely useful and gave them a clear idea of how a probation service should be organized. The Ministry's initiative is designed to reduce prison overcrowding and rehabilitate ex convicts to ensure that they do not return to crime. By supporting this initiative, DOJ is contributing to improving the human rights situation and reducing crime levels in Russia.
OPDAT Assisted Prosecution Team Prevails in Terrorism Case in Bosnia: Over the past three years, the OPDAT RLA to Bosnia, along with the Intermittent Legal Advisors to Bosnia, have provided countless hours of mentoring and legal counseling to the prosecution team that just won a conviction in a terrorism case that has been in trial since February 2009. On November 10, in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), the verdict was announced in the case of RijadRustempašić, et al. Rijad and codefendants Abdulah Handžić and Edis Velić were found guilty of terrorism. Rijad was sentenced to four and one-half years. Handžić and Velić were each sentenced to three years and four months. Rijad and his brother Muhamed Rustempašić were acquitted of illicit trafficking in weapons and military equipment. The Court found that RijadRustempašić, Handžić and Velić were part of a group organized for the purpose of carrying out a terrorist act. The group held meetings during which they discussed committing terrorist acts against various targets, including attacking Serb Orthodox and Croat Catholic churches during religious holidays. The Court found that they sought to establish Sharia law, in contravention of the constitution of BiH. The Court further found that they obtained weapons and explosive devices, including the components to assemble improvised explosive devices. The acquittal of Rijad and Muhamed Rustempašić on the weapons trafficking charge was based on the fact that the weapons, which consisted of ten optical sights, were illegal when they were shipped from Austria to BiH, but were subsequently de-listed, and no longer illegal. The Court applied the rule of lenity, and acquitted. The Court said that sentences near the three-year minimum were imposed because attacks were planned but not carried out, as well as other unspecified mitigating factors. A detailed written verdict will be issued later. An appeal by all, including the prosecution, is likely. Defendants were not taken into custody, and will remain out during the appeal.
OPDAT Major Implementer in Partnership for Growth Agreement with the Philippines: In a November 14 ceremony in Manila with President Aquino, Secretary of state Clinton signed the Partnership for Growth (PFG) agreement between the Government of Philippines and the United States. The PFG focuses on constraints to economic growth, and the Philippines is one of only four countries (along with Ghana, Tanzania, and the El Salvador) to enter into this bilateral collaboration agreement. Secretary Clinton noted at the signing, “through the Partnership for Growth, a team from across the United States Government will work closely with partners in the Filipino Government to create a more transparent and predictable business environment, lower barriers to trade and strengthen the rule of law, as well as fight corruption.” The RLA to the Philippines was closely involved in negotiating components of the PFG, and OPDAT will be responsible for implementing many of the activities in support of the rule of law/anti-corruption pillar through a RLA-led effort to be funded by INL.
Program on Cybercrime Investigations and Electronic Evidence for Western and Southern Africa: From November 8-10, OPDAT and the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) ran a workshop in Johannesburg, South Africa, on investigating cybercrime and collecting electronic evidence. Nearly fifty senior prosecutors and investigators from eight countries (South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia, Namibia, Botswana, Mauritius and the Seychelles) took part. Attendees received training in digital forensics, online investigative techniques, and conducting transnational investigations. They also participated in a simulated cybercrime investigation. The workshop built on earlier CCIPS-OPDAT trainings throughout Africa, and will be followed up by another electronic evidence and cybercrime workshop focused on Northern Africa and the Middle East that will take place in January.
Andean Regions in Colombia:From November 8-9, OPDAT and USAID jointly sponsored the Atlantic Coast and Andean regional finals of the University Mock Trial Competition: student teams from Cartagena, Santa Marta, and Barranquilla universities competed in the final round of the Atlantic Coast competition; teams from Ibagué, Villavicencio, and Tunja universities competed in the Andean regional competition. These mock trial competitions are co-sponsored by the DOJ/OPDAT Justice Sector Reform Program and USAID’s Access to Justice Program in an effort to strengthen oral trial skills of Colombian law school faculty and students.
First DOJ Supported Jury Trial Set To Begin in Tbilisi, Georgia: The first jury trial in post-soviet Georgia commenced on November 7. OPDAT Resident Legal Advisors (RLAs) have worked for many years to provide expertise and technical insight to assist Georgia in adopting a US-styled adversarial system of criminal justice. This includes greater due process protections for the accused, a vibrant exclusionary rule, and other progressive components of modern criminal justice. This sea change includes the adoption of jury trials in cases of aggravated murder (and will expand over time to include jury trials for other forms of murder, rape, and other serious crimes). The RLAs have worked with the prosecutors at the Ministry of Justice to teach best practices in trial advocacy, ethics, and evidence. This includes conducting myriad mock jury trials and other workshops. The RLAs also dedicated substantial time to working with Georgian judges and court leadership to help prepare them for the advent of jury trials. The RLAs worked with the National Center for State Courts to help develop a jury management plan and assisted in conducting a dry-run jury summons and voir dire session to prepare judges and court staff for the first actual jury trial. RLAs worked with the Georgian media in helping to define the role of the media in covering jury trials, and to alert the media to issues of juror privacy and courtroom demeanor and integrity. The RLAs also assisted the Georgian judiciary and procuracy in rolling out a nation-wide PR and PSA campaign to raise public awareness regarding jury trials. This effort helped to pique the interest of Georgian citizens in actively participating in their criminal justice system. The RLAs have brought groups of prosecutors and judges to the United States to observe jury trials in action in both the state and federal courts. This effort was aided greatly by members of the US District Court which welcomed Georgian judges to their courtrooms and offered mentoring and advice to Georgian judges regarding the dynamics of managing a jury trial. Several sitting US District Court judges traveled to Tbilisi to present at RLA workshops on jury trial practice for Georgian judges and for mixed groups that included judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys. The first jury trial involves a cold case from 1994 where multiple people were killed by an organized criminal group in the course of a robbery. This first jury trial will be widely followed by the Georgian public and will be a historic event for this developing democracy.
DAG Observes DOJ Scope of Presence in Philippines: On November 3-5, the Deputy Attorney General (DAG) and the Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General visited the Philippines. The DAG had an opportunity to see the scope of activities in the Philippines by DOJ components present (OPDAT, OIA, ICITAP, FBI and DEA). During his visit, he discussed a breaking major Philippine corruption case with the Ombudsman, spoke at an ICITAP closing ceremony, met with senior officials from the Philippine National Bureau of Investigations and Philippine National Police, visited the Philippines Department of Justice, and walked the grounds of the American Cemetery. He visited the Embassy where he met with Ambassador Thomas and spoke to the Embassy country team, and later conferred with ten senior Philippine justice-sector officials in the evening at the Ambassador’s residence. The OPDAT RLA to the Philippines was the control officer for the visit. The Deputy Attorney General is the most senior US official to visit the Philippines since the Aquino administration took power in 2010.
OPDAT Selected as Rule of Law Implementer in Historic Partnership for Growth Agreement with El Salvador: On November 3, the OPDAT Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) Regional Director witnessed the signing of the Partnership for Growth (PFG) agreement between the Government of El Salvador and the United States, the culmination of eight months of negotiations during which crime and lack of security were identified as constraints to El Salvador’s economic growth. El Salvador is the first of four countries (Ghana, Tanzania, and the Philippines are the others) to enter into this unprecedented bilateral collaboration agreement based on a focused and deliberate strategy to generate the greatest possible impact of joint development efforts. The PFG’s goal is to mobilize the traditional and non-traditional resources of both governments to remove obstacles and identify opportunities for broad-based economic growth in El Salvador. OPDAT’s LAC team was instrumental in designing a strategy to address the security constraint, proposing programs to combat transit crimes and crimes against businesses as well as the professionalization of the justice sector through a robust RLA-led effort to be funded by INL over the next two years.
OPDAT Delivers Case Preparation and Trial Advocacy Skills Course for Prosecutors in Karachi, Pakistan:From October 31-November 4, OPDAT conducted a seminar in case preparation and trial advocacy skills for Pakistani prosecutors from Sindh Province. The program examined how prosecutors screen, analyze, and handle cases received from the police, from the initial case preparation to the verdict. The 28 participants were studying the basic rules of case analysis, evidence, advocacy techniques, trial strategy, witness preparation, oral argument, and witness examination. Case analysis focused on issues commonly found in prosecutors’ practice such as suggestive or inadequate identification, gaps in police investigations, and missing documentation. On the last day, all participants were split into four “courtrooms” and participated in full mock trials, thereby putting all learned skills together into one effort. This was the fourth iteration of trial skills seminars for Sindh prosecutors. The course was also delivered to prosecutors in Punjab Province six times and in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province four times. The program goal was to ensure that all prosecutors possess the requisite knowledge and especially the self-confidence to screen a case received from the police, and then properly analyze and handle the case all the way through initial preparation to verdict. A US District Court Judge (Central District, California), US Magistrate (District of Idaho), and an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) (Southern District, West Virginia) served as instructors for the program, along with the OPDAT RLA to Pakistan and the Intermittent Legal Advisor (ILA) to Pakistan.