Participants with the speakers at the seminar in Tangier
Participants with the speakers at the seminar in Tangier

On 7 and 8 November 2019, the IRZ, in partnership with the Moroccan Public Prosecutor’s Office, organised an “Introduction to toxicology” seminar in Tangier as the last part of the “Cooperation with the Kingdom of Morocco in the field of legal and forensic medicine, with particular consideration paid to the concerns of the Moroccan justice system” project. The IRZ has been coordinating this project between 2017 and the end of this year as part of the project financed by the German Foreign Office (Transformation Partnerships with Northern Africa/the Middle East).

The objective of the seminar was to teach the Moroccan participants about the possibilities of toxicology as part of their investigation work. Around 30 public prosecutors, judges and forensic scientists took part in the event, learning about the basics of work in toxicology laboratories.

The expert taking part on behalf of the IRZ was private lecturer Dr. Sven Hartwig, Senior Physician and Head of the Department of Forensic Toxicology at the Institute of Legal and Forensic Medicine at the Charité Berlin. The Moroccan speakers included representatives of the Sûreté Nationale and the Gendarmerie Royale, who presented Moroccan experiences in the field of toxicology. The following were some of the topics discussed at the seminar:

  • Introduction to Forensic Toxicology
  • Systematic toxicological tests in selected death cases
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Advantages and disadvantages of hair analysis
With the help of specific case examples, the participants also discussed the significance and methods of toxicological testing used in investigating deaths. During lively discussions, they talked about the current problems in the cooperation between legal and forensic medicine, toxicology and public prosecutors, in particular the continued lack of communication between all those involved during the investigation process.