NACTA in collaboration of UNODC Country Office Pakistan organized a ‘Mock Investigation and Trial of Terrorist Financing and Related Serious Offences Workshop’ in Islamabad, on 26-28 February, 2019. The workshop comprised relevant officials from all three pillars of the criminal justice system; including counter-terrorism officials from both the police force and intelligence agencies, along with Anti-Terrorism prosecutors and ATC judges.
To achieve a vibrant training with clear and operational objectives, the methodology utilized was a mock trial exercise. Through this method, participants presented and augmented their learning and experiences through a hypothetical terrorism financing case, and set evidence provided them as the investigation progressed. The workshop was the first of its kind given the participation of all pillars of the country’s criminal justice system, enabling mutually beneficial peer-learning and experience-sharing during the interactive-sessions, towards improved inter-agency cooperation and information sharing.
During the opening session of the exercise DG (CTF) NACTA and UNODC Senior Programme Officer, highlighted the roles and mandate of NACTA and UNODC in providing support to law enforcement and criminal justice officials to strengthen their response to countering the financing of terrorism.
The working methodology and workshop objectives were highlighted by Mr. Philip Divett, Programme Officer Terrorism Prevention Branch, UNODC HQ Vienna. He further briefed the participants on ‘The United Nations Framework for Countering the Financing of Terrorism and Related International Standards’, before highlighting emerging terrorist financing threats, sources, and typologies.
Later in the afternoon Director (CFT) NACTA, gave a presentation on Pakistan’s legal and institutional framework for countering the financing of terrorism; and answered questions regarding the NACTA’s recently developed SOPs and Guidelines issued to law enforcement agencies.
On the second day of the workshop presentations were made by Mr. Keith Veralls, former British police officer, on the UK’s approach to terrorism investigations; and by Mr. Roger Smart, UK Crown Prosecution Services, on the importance of terrorism financing investigations during prosecution of terrorism cases. The workshop continued with a group exercise in which participants were divided into groups to analyze scenario-based exercises. During the last session representatives from each group presented a short summary of their groups’ analyses and observations, on which the other groups provided candid feedback.
During the closing session DG (CTF) NACTA on behalf of NACTA expressed his appreciation of the attendees for their active participation throughout the three days’ training, and Mr. Syed Arslan assured participants of UNODC’s support for holding similar events in future.
The activity was made possible with the support of the Government of Japan.