State Prosecutors should be equipped to deal with financial crimes – AG

first_imgA three-day training workshop on Trial Advocacy, which commenced on Thursday, heard Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Basil Williams emphasise the need for State Prosecutors to be better skilled and equipped to handle high profile cases such as those involving financial crimes.Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil WilliamsSpeaking at the opening ceremony of the workshop, Minister Williams said this initiative is a welcome one, as it seeks to further train prosecutors so that they are more effective in achieving successful prosecutions.The Head of the Bar underscored the importance of State Prosecutors being equipped with the necessary tools to ensure proper prosecutions particularly in the area of financial crimes and corruption.“Over the years, a lot of focus has been placed on prosecution (of) traditional crimes, but with the direction that the world is going, we must also give attention to developing the requisite skills to prosecute corruption cases and financial crimes such as fraud, bribery, money laundering and terrorist financing,” he stated, while adding cybercrimes to the list.The Attorney General further said, “…we have a problem with convictions right now in money laundering and other specialised aspects [such as] financial crimes. So our State Prosecutors must recognise that this is a timely intervention; not that they are losing these cases, they just need the training. (They) must understand the elements of a money laundering offence and distinguish it from narcotics offences.”This sentiment was also shared by Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Shalimar Ali-Hack, who noted, “We are embarking on some new areas of law, particularly in the financial investigations; and we are doing our best to learn the law as well as to do training (such as these).”The DPP further stated that similar training workshops will be held going forward, with the aim of enhancing prosecutions in both the High and Magistrates’ Courts, as well as the Appellate Court.“Trial advocacy is a skill, and it does take some learning for you to improve on what you have. It’s knowing your facts together with the way you put it over, and…I’m sure we will each benefit from this learning experience, and together this will build the capacity of prosecutions in Guyana’s justice system,” Ali-Hack posited.The three-day training is being hosted by the Office of the DPP at the Marriott Hotel. Among those participating are prosecutors from the DPP Chambers and Police Prosecutors.The workshop forms part of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative’s (CBSI’s) Justice Sector Assistance Programme funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.A five member team from the National Centre for State Courts will be facilitating the training programme for State Prosecutors.last_img read more