11th 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

This was the second seminar on the “Rights of Accused and Suspects in the amended Criminal procedural Code”. Judge Hazrat Gul Hussami from Supreme Court participated as instructor in this seminar.

The seminar started with a brief history of Criminal Procedurs that the law was inforced in 1344, and derived from the Egyption legal origins. During the session, Article 25 of the constitution was also discussed. The accused shall be innocent until proven guilty by the order of an authoritative court”. After discussions on the state of innocence, Mr. Hussami defined accused and suspect persons.

After differentiating accused and suspect’s persons, their rights were described in detail to all participants and compared them in both laws. The main rights discussed were:

·         Right to be informed of the charges

·         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 instructor also stated that the prosecutors, judge and jury must be fair. They cannot be prejudiced against the accused during the proceedings. For example, a judge cannot be involved in a case if the victim is a member of his/her family.

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.