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Ceremony marks Anti-Terrorism Prosecution Directorate graduation, facility opening

By Master Sgt. Adam M. Stump , Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435

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Dec. 23, 2010 — CENTCOM

Afghan Attorney General Mohammad Ishaq Aloko, right, cuts a ribbon at a ceremony marking 12 prosecutors graduating a European Union Police training course and the opening of several facilities Dec. 20 at the Ant-Terrorism Prosecution Directorate headquarters.  Aloko said the training, combined with long-term study visits outside of Afghanistan, is an important step toward building the prosecutor capacity in Afghanistan.  (Defense Dept. photo by Air Force Master Sgt. Adam M. Stump/Released)

KABUL, Afghanistan (Dec. 23, 2010) — Twelve prosecutors graduated a European Union Police training course in a ceremony marking the graduation and the opening of several facilities Dec. 20 at the Anti-Terrorism Prosecution Directorate headquarters.

The ceremony gathered Afghans and EUPOL trainers, along with representatives from the United Kingdom and U.S. governments.

The training seminar comprised one week of investigative techniques and two weeks of legal procedural training, which will enable the Afghans to work toward implementing Rule of Law, said Geoffrey Cooper, EUPOL deputy Head of Mission.

The training, combined with long-term study visits outside of Afghanistan, is an important step toward building the prosecutor capacity in Afghanistan, said Afghan Attorney General Mohammad Ishaq Aloko.

“Our number one focus is the staff,” said Aloko.  He added the logistics side, provided by the United Kingdom and U.S. governments, will allow the prosecutors to have a professional facility.

“Our international partners were very helpful,” said Aloko.  “This is not the first (partnership) and will not be the last.”

Afghan Maj. Gen. Sayed Noorullah Sadat, head of the Anti Terrorist Prosecution Directorate, said the prosecutors played a vital role in more than 1,300 cases at the Detention Facility in Parwan. The unit also aided in the capture of more than 1,300 weapons and large caches of explosive devices.  These brave prosecutors paid a hefty price, Sadat said, noting the numerous terrorist attacks against them, but will continue to fight on behalf of Afghanistan, Sadat said.

“This department will do its best to fight terrorism and seek justice,” Sadat added.

To aid the prosecutors, Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435 used Commander’s Emergency Response Program funds to construct an office facility and renovate a training room.  The United Kingdom supplemented this CERP project buying office furniture, generators, and substantial security enhancements to the Headquarters building.

“These facilities will be put to good use in the fight against terrorism,” said Catherine Royle, chargé d’affaires at the British Embassy in Kabul.  “It’s a fight that involves all of us in the role we play.  We are friends fighting against terrorism.”

U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan for Rule of Law and Law Enforcement Hans Klemm said while Afghanistan is making progress in the fight against terrorism, the progress is still fragile.  Because terrorists are dangerous and persistent enemies, Klemm said it is important to keep building “a fair, efficient and transparent justice system.”

The work toward the justice system will continue for years to come.

“This is indicative of where our focus will be the next few years,” said U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Robert S. Harward, Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435 commander.  “We work with a sense of urgency because we know how important this is to combat operations.  Establishing the Rule of Law is important to this.  We are committed to this long journey together.”

CJIATF-435 will continue to transition detention operations to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and provide support for the ongoing development of an effective Afghan system capable of delivering credible and accountable justice that promotes legitimate and responsive governance.  The command will work with Afghan partners to increase capacity for justice in a manner that supports counterinsurgency objectives.

CJIATF-435, in partnership with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and U.S. interagency and international partners, conducts operations in detention, corrections, the judicial sector and biometrics.   Projects such as facilitating construction of the Anti-Terrorism Prosecution Directorate headquarters demonstrate CJIATF-435’s work to build sustainable Afghan rule of law.  Ultimately the desired end state of these cooperative endeavors is self-sustaining Afghan national detention facilities and rule of law institutions compliant with Afghan and international law.