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From 4 to 7 December 2017, the IRZ welcomed ten judges and public prosecutors to a working visit on "fighting organised crime" in Frankfurt am Main. The visit took place as part of the Transformation Partnerships with North Africa/the Middle East funded by the German Foreign Office.
The main focus of the study visit was on strategies for fighting terrorism and combating the financing of terrorism and money laundering.
Against this background, the Moroccan guests were invited to expert talks at the German Federal Office of Criminal Investigation and the Office of Criminal Investigation of Hesse in Wiesbaden.
After the cooperation of the police in the fight against terrorism in Germany had been outlined, the focus was on international agreements in this field. Especially the return of potential fighters from war zones such as Syria and the question of how to deal with them confronts both Germany and Morocco with similar challenges and problems.
In a meeting with the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Frankfurt am Main the Moroccan delegation learnt about the legal basis for fighting money laundering and tax fraud in Germany, with a focus on the new anti-money laundering legislation adopted in 2016.
Since the issue is a pressing one and the problems are of a transnational nature, it certainly makes sense to work together more closely in this field. Within this context, the IRZ will continue to work with the Moroccan justice system and to support regional exchange.
On 7 and 8 November 2017, the IRZ organised its third successive multilateral conference in Rabat on “Fighting organised crime”. The event was held in partnership with the Moroccan Ministry of Justice and supported by the German Foreign Office as part of the Transformation partnerships with North Africa/the Middle East.
As well as judges and public prosecutors from Morocco, representatives of the Tunisian and Jordanian justice systems also took part.
In addition to combating money laundering, the main focus of the conference was on human trafficking and the international and national legal framework for fighting terrorism.
Hans-Dieter Hilken, former Head of Criminal Investigations, and Jürgen Maurer, a former Vice-President of the Bundeskriminalamt (German Federal Criminal Office) represented the IRZ as German experts.
The participants in the conference were able to learn details about international and regional agreements and strategies for combating money laundering and tax fraud and discuss their respective national experiences of the fight against terrorism. It became clear that all countries are facing similar challenges.
Since all three phenomena present transnational difficulties, which do not stop at national borders, international cooperation and joint efforts are required to deal with them effectively. The coordination of the various parties involved and the secure exchange of information within a country and between countries constitute one of the greatest challenges in this respect.
Since the issue is a pressing one, it certainly makes sense to work more closely together in this field. Within this context, the IRZ will continue to work with the Moroccan justice system and to support regional discussions.
Continuing the cooperation with Morocco in the field of legal and forensic medicine, a Moroccan delegation visited Berlin from 11 to 15 September 2017 to learn about the “Potential of legal and forensic medicine for law professionals”. The event was part of a three-year project, which the IRZ is leading together with the Institute of Legal and Forensic Medicine at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. The project is supported by the German Foreign Office as part of the Transformation partnerships with North Africa/the Middle East during the period from 2017 to 2019.
The objective is to support independent legal and forensic medicine in Morocco by providing continued training and education for forensic scientists, developing an appropriate professional code and improving the cooperation between legal and forensic medicine and the justice system.
The delegation was first of all welcomed to expert discussions at the Institute of Legal and Forensic Medicine at Charité Berlin, the focus of which was on the subject of “guaranteeing the independence of legal and forensic medicine”. The following topics in particular were discussed:
The structure of the Institute
Cooperation with the relevant authorities
Criteria for reports and autopsies
Continued training and education for forensic scientists and
Guaranteeing the independence of legal and forensic medicine in Germany.
This visit also included a practical part and a guided tour of the Department of Forensic Toxicology and the autopsy room.
Further expert discussions were held at the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection. The subjects of discussion here were the cooperation between the Administration of Justice and legal and forensic medicine, the duties of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, criminal proceedings (e.g the investigation and autopsy processes) and the position and status of legal and forensic medicine in German criminal law.
At the German Association of Judges, the delegation was able to discuss legal procedures and the importance of legal and forensic medicine. They also looked at the criteria for reports and their structure, as well as issues concerning documentation.
The closing discussions took place at the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Berlin, with the focus on subjects such as the cooperation between the Public Prosecutor’s Office and legal and forensic medicine and the independence of the Public Prosecutor’s Office.
The Moroccan guests showed a great deal of interest, actively taking part in the exchange of experiences by asking lots of questions and making remarks on the status of legal and forensic medicine in both countries. They were able to address various topics intensively during the talks, allowing them to gain a deep insight into the way legal and forensic medicine works in Germany.
There continues to be a great requirement for advice in Morocco. The joint expert discussions and events will continue to take place as part of this project until the end of 2019.