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Graduates to use forensic technology to aid Afghan justice

Release No: UNRELEASED Dec. 20, 2010 PRINT | E-MAIL

CENTCOM

Afghan Ministry of Interior criminal investigators wait to receive their certificate of training Dec. 18 from the Joint Expeditionary Forensics Facility 5 training program. The graduates studied advanced techniques to better collect forensic evidence for use in identifying suspects and processing evidence for use in the Afghan criminal justice system. Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435’s criminal investigation division sponsored the 22-week course. (Defense Department photo by U.S. Navy Chief Mass Communication Specialist (SW) Maria Yager/Released)

BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan (Dec. 20, 2010) —  The graduation of eleven Afghan Ministry of Interior criminal investigators from the Joint Expeditionary Forensics Facility 5 training program Dec. 18 marks a significant increase in the government of Afghanistan’s ability to use forensic evidence in criminal investigations.

“This represents one of the most advanced achievements in the history of criminal investigative techniques in Afghanistan,” said Afghan National Army Lt. Gen. Mirza Mohammed Yarmand, MOI’s Criminal Investigative Division director, during the graduation ceremony.

Forensics involves using scientific technology to gather and analyze evidence from a crime. With their new skills, the investigators will be able to better collect forensic evidence for use in identifying suspects and processing evidence for use in the Afghan criminal justice system.

Through forensics, investigators can lift fingerprints from bomb making components and compare them against prints stored in a national data base, possibly leading to the identity of a suspect or linking the evidence to other investigations.

“Afghan investigators began using print technology in the 1960’s to gather information from evidence,” said graduate Ghulom Easa. “We now have increased capacity to gather evidence in ballistics, firearms, forensic photography and DNA collection, allowing us to present evidence to the court that can free the innocent and jail the criminals.”

The training program comprises two phases; a six-week forensic orientation portion and 16 weeks of formal instruction in the forensic disciplines of photography, latent print examination, DNA, firearms and ballistics. Training included familiarization of terms, equipment and processes as well as work on actual investigations.

“The training was very good and very important for me,” said graduate Abdullah Weyar. “We will use these skills at MOI.”

The investigators, assigned to the Criminal Technique Lab in Kabul, were the first Afghans to participate in the U.S. led training program sponsored by Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435’s criminal investigation division here.  The next class is scheduled to begin in January.

“If Afghanistan does not get knowledge, there will not be success because knowledge is power,” said Yarmand. “This is a great achievement for Afghanistan.”

CJIATF-435, made up of U.S. service members, civilians and coalition members, partners with numerous Afghan ministries to achieve the desired end state of self-sustaining Afghan national detention facilities and rule of law (corrections) institutions compliant with Afghan and international law.