Thin Edge of the Wedge

A minor change that begins a major development ……

I was in Uganda this past week to review their Mutual Legal Assistance Fiches, Extradition Fiches, International Enquiries Manual and Extradition Guide – as part of a team of experts for the EU Law Enforcement Project in the Greater Horn of Africa.

Moving forward, these tools will be tested in a forthcoming regional desktop training exercise.

As crucial as these tools are, the real highlight of this workshop was senior state attorneys delivering presentations, on the extradition of two accused from Tanzania for the 2010 Kampala bombings and more recently of Jamil Mukulu (below).

The presenters also discussed the challenges in the 2010 Kampala bombing trial, and subsequent appeal, as a result of two of the accused being driven to the Kenya/Uganda border by police in Kenya, to police in Uganda, in the absence of extradition.

Some practical advice, from a state attorney who travelled to the Requested State for extradition proceedings in Tanzania, included using a wedge under your hotel room door to prevent unwanted guests arriving. “My best friend” – as the state attorney called the wedge, as he proudly passed it around for us all to examine.

Sharing this knowledge to their fellow prosecutors, with lessons learnt and practical tips, can only raise confidence levels.

A good harvest does not grow with ease; the more diligent the farmer, the more bountiful the crop – Ugandan proverb

We also worked with the delegates to produce a prosecution counter-terrorism coordination plan. Whilst this was only a draft, it allowed the delegates to see how they can play a role in response to a terrorist incident, through strategic planning.

We look forward to the next stage of this project, where we use the tools to move towards operationalisation of the Greater Horn of Africa International Cooperation Network.

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