10th Lunch Session at Anti-Terrorism Prosecution Department

A brief Review

The Code of Conduct and Professional standards for Prosecutors of Attorney General Office was approved by Supreme Council of Attorney General office of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on 06/07/1389. This Code of Conduct  consists four chapters and 28 articles, the various aspects of professional standards are included.

However; the contents are clear to understand because, they have also been described by qualified cadres of Attorney General Office, its still felt necessary to provide explination to some of the contents unclear to the prosecutors of ATPD. AJO and consulation with ATPD and FCO decided to held Ethics Seminars for  prosecutors during lunch time to dicuss issues that they raise questions about.

The methodology is such that an expert on topic attend the session, explains the topic and responds to the questions.  The instructor starts the session explaining main topic for ten minutes, subsequently, shares experiences, provides practical examples and provide the participants an opportunity to discuss and debate in friendly atmosphere.

These seminars are held twice a month, and the numbers of participants are between 10 to 15 persons. The participants are introduced by the head of the Anti-Terrorism Prosecution Department (ATPD), and lunch is being provided by AJO. 

The topics discussed during the seminars are the principles of fair trials, while the  current seminar topic focuses on Rights of Suspects and Accused in amended ICPC considering  requests from the participants. A total number of 12 prosecutors attended this seminar.

 

Rights of accused and suspects 

Abdul Basir Khalid started the session with the article 25th of the constitution law. The article states that “Innocence is the original state. The accused shall be innocent until proven guilty by the order of an authoritative court”. The focus was on the article four of Penal Code that explains the same definition explained in article 25th of constitution

After discussing the state of innocence in implemented laws, the instructor focused on the same issue in international documents. During the seminar, Mr. Basir Khalid compared the rights of accused and suspects mentioned in the amended Interim Criminal Procedure Code with the previous one. He shared the 21 paragraphs that were related to the rights of accused and suspects and added that, a suspect or accused person should not be made look like a guilty person by being caged or shackled in the courtroom or forced to appear wearing a prisoner uniform. He should be allowed to wear civilian clothes

The main other rights which were explained in details are:

​•          Right to be informed of the charge
•          Right to an interpreter
•          Right to preparation of defense
•          Right to a fair and public hearing and the right to be present in the trial
•          Right to freedom from discrimination; and
•          Right to free legal assistance

The mentioned rights were compared both in the new law and the previous one. He concluded the session with saying that all the persons are equal before the law and all the people are equal before the courts. ​

Suggestions And Class Observation

​1.     Most of the participants did not have access to the amended ICPC and suggested to provide them with hard copies of this code.
2.     It was observed that most of the prosecutors were not aware of the laws to be implemented considering the rights of accused and suspects.
3.     They also suggested to provide them a training on amended ICPC so that they are more familiar with the changes brought in the articles and will know the rights of accused and suspects in different circumstances.
4.        It was also observed that the participants had deficiencies in understanding of respecting the rights of accused and suspects with the problems in  different departments and sectors.