EU Police and Rule of Law Mission advisers advocate for enhanced witness protection in Palestine
December 17, 2019
As part of the first international high-level anti-corruption conference in Ramallah launched by President Mahmoud Abbas and held from 9-11 December, EUPOL advisers made the case for stronger protection of witnesses and whistleblowers as a crucial component in the fight against corruption.
Drawing on the experience of his home country, Mr Jari-Pekka Paajala, EUPOL COPPS Prosecution Expert from Finland noted the importance of having a credible and publicly trusted witness protection programme in place to encourage people to report wrongdoing. Michele Tarlao, EUPOL COPPS Anti-Narcotics and Organised Crime Adviser from the Italian State Police, concurred and recalled his own country’s fight against the mafia.
As a signatory to the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), as well as the Arab Convention against Money Laundering Financing Terrorism and the Arab Anti-Corruption Convention, Palestine has certain international frameworks to draw upon to strengthen its anti-corruption frameworks. As noted by the EUPOL COPPS advisers at the conference, there are certain concrete changes to the Criminal Procedure Code, for example to the definitions of the rights and obligations of witnesses and persons of interest that would significantly improve Palestine’s ability to address the challenges of corruption and organised crime.
EUPOL COPPS is the European Union Co-ordinating Office for Palestinian Police Support. The aim of the Mission is to contribute to the establishment of sustainable and effective policing arrangements and to advise Palestinian counterparts on criminal justice and rule of law related aspects under Palestinian ownership.