In the context to strengthen Pakistan’s countering the financing of terrorism (CFT) framework, National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) in collaboration with the UNODC Country office and with support of the European Union (EU), organized a three-day workshop from 12-14 June 2019. The workshop had twenty-five participants from the provincial counter-terrorism and prosecution departments of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Gilgit-Baltistan in addition to anti-terrorism judges. The objective of the workshop was to bring all stakeholders together by conducting a mock-trial on a terrorism financing case study to enhance their knowledge and skills related to their respective organizational mandate.
The mock-trial was facilitated through interactive, scenario-based sessions with the help of two international trainers; Mr. Philip Divett, Programme Officer UNODC, and Mr. Keith Verralls, a former Police officer from the United Kingdom, along with Mr. Faisal Mehmood, a legal expert.
The content of the workshop allowed the attendees to identify methods of terrorist financing, national and international legal frameworks before deliberating upon approaches which investigators, prosecutors can adopt based on international best practices for effectively countering the financing of terrorism.
Furthermore, the workshop also focused on the difference between circumstantial and physical evidence, to ensure better understanding on the part of prosecutors whilst pursuing TF cases. Another purpose was to enhance the existing capacities of the judiciary on the admissibility and technicalities regarding the presentation of evidence related to TF in court.
The first day of the workshop commenced with the opening remarks of Director General Countering Terrorism Financing, NACTA, and Mr. Syed Arslan, Programme Advisor UNODC; they both stressed upon the need for enhancing the capacities of law enforcement and criminal justice agencies. The first session was led by Mr. Philip Divett in which he introduced the participants to the United Nations Framework for Countering the Financing of Terrorism and related international standards; following which Mr. Keith Verralls gave a presentation on the UK’s approach to investigating financial crimes. Mr. Faisal Mehmood also shared a presentation on Terrorist Financing Legal Framework in Pakistan.
On the second and third day of the workshop, the participants were divided into groups for a mock trial: where they were given a case study for analysis and subsequent presentation of their modus operandi, involving in-depth analysis for solving the case; from criminal charges to evidence collection. The activity was designed to sharpen the skills of participants who closely work on cases related to CTF. Through this activity, the participants were introduced to an actual scenario, where their problem-solving skills in the field of the investigation were assessed.
On conclusion of the workshop DG (CTF) NACTA, gave the closing remarks wherein he appreciated the efforts of UNODC, and thanked the EU for extending financial support, to assist the capacity dynamics of the attendees. The event ended with certificate distribution to the participants.