The Attorney General announced today that it has completed the formation of a special investigatory unit within the office of the Public Prosecution that is dedicated to determining accountability for the events of last year.
The BICI recommended establishing a national, independent and impartial mechanism to determine the accountability of those who have committed unlawful or negligent acts resulting in deaths, torture and mistreatment of civilians, with a view to bringing legal action against those who are found to be responsible under international standards of superior responsibility.
Advice on implementing this recommendation was sought from leading international experts, Sir Daniel Bethlehem QC, Sir Jeffrey Jowell QC, Professor Adnan Amkhan, Professor Sarah Cleveland and David Perry QC. Their advice on setting up the unit was accepted in full, and will be made public. The new unit will be led by a senior Public Prosecutor and will be supported by experienced, independent criminal investigators and forensic experts.
A new position was created for a senior independent investigations counsellor, to be appointed by the Supreme Judicial Council.
This position requires experience in prosecuting and investigating crimes and familiarity with international standards on human rights investigations.
The recruitment of personnel is already underway. To ensure the effectiveness of these investigations the Government has agreed to launch an extensive program of training for prosecutors in a number of areas, including the Istanbul Principles on investigating torture claim.
In the coming weeks, seniors lawyers and judges are arriving from Germany (organized through the German Embassy) and the US (under the auspices of the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative) to provide training on effective investigations, case management and human rights issues.
Attorney General Dr. Al Buainain said today that “The new investigatory unit once again shows that we are fully committed to the implementation of all the BICI recommendations. We have taken the advice of international legal experts to ensure that this new body meets the highest international standards and satisfies the words and spirit of BICI.”