In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Closing statement of the Public Prosecution's fifth annual conference
The Public Prosecution ended the activities of its fifth annual conference, under the auspices of HE the President of the State of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas, which was held in Jericho in the period 18-20/12/2014 and entitled "The Public Prosecution: Reality, Challenges and Prospects". All prosecutors in the West Bank participated in the conference, while Gaza Strip prosecutors were not able to participate due to the Israeli blockade and not providing them with the required permits. We hope that they would be amongst us in the coming conference.
The conference was opened with a speech by Prime Minister Dr. Rami Al-Hamdallah, on behalf of HE President of the State of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas, through which he affirmed the support if the President and the Palestinian government to the Public prosecution in its efforts in fighting all types of crime, prosecuting perpetrators and achieving justice and security for the Palestinian public, especially within the complex conditions the country is going through locally, regionally and internationally. He also valued the achievements of the Public Prosecution during the past period. The representative of UNDP Mr. Frody Moring also presented a speech in which he stressed on the necessity of continuing support to the Public Prosecution through supporting its programs and plans and the capacity building of its staff. He valued the role and achievements of the Public Prosecution in fighting crime and achieving security and stability to the public. On his part, Chief Justice Judge Ali Muhanna stressed in his speech that the Public Prosecution is part of the Palestinian judiciary. He congratulated prosecutors on holding this conference and stressed on the strong complementary relation between the prosecution and the judiciary.
Mr. Rafiq Al-Natsheh, president of the Anti-corruption Commission also presented a speech in which he noted that the ACC and the Public Prosecution give all in their power to cooperate and complement each other's work in fighting corruption and prosecuting perpetrators. The Jordanian Attorney General who was a guest at the conference also presented as speech stressing on the strong relations between the Jordanian and Palestinian peoples and the support of His Majesty King Abdullah to the Palestinian people and their just causes. He also stressed that the strong relations between the judicial authority in Jordan and Palestine, including the public prosecution, will continue through this conference. Another speech was presented by the Attorney General of the State of Palestine Judge Abdul Ghani Al-Eweiwi, in which he extended his appreciation to prosecutors for their efforts and contributions in achieving justice and security to the Palestinian people. He also affirmed the strong relations between justice sector institutions, and that the Public Prosecution will build on its work in capacity development in different aspects.
The conference was attended by representatives from the justice sector institutions including the President of the Military Judiciary Major General Ismail Farraj, as well as diplomats, representatives from security services, universities, civil society organizations and a number of academicians, in addition to international projects supporting the public prosecution.
The conference addressed several issues that are of importance to the work of the Public Prosecution through discussion papers that were presented and the closed sessions that were held. One of the most important issues discussed was the prospects of cooperation with the High Judicial Council, as this issue was addressed in a closed session between Chief Justice Ali Muhanna and Attorney General Abdul Ghani Al-Eweiwi. In addition to a closed session held between prosecutors, the Attorney General and his deputies to discuss the daily and future challenges.
In addition to the other papers presented on vital topics such as the cooperation between the Appeals prosecution at the OAG and district prosecution offices, the role of the Public Prosecution in the recent legislative amendments, gender issues and juvenile justice, human rights and how coherent Palestinian laws are with the International Humanitarian Law, administrative cases and mechanisms of cooperation with legal departments at governmental bodies, the reality and concepts of fighting corruption in Palestine, the mechanism of cooperation between the Public Prosecution and the Financial Follow-up Unit, the role of the Public Prosecution in prosecuting economic crimes, examining witnesses before courts, the International Criminal Court and the Palestinian judicial move towards trying war criminals, enforcing penal and civil decisions, the Public Prosecution Administrative Staff Manual and unification of procedures, the Public Prosecution's strategic approach, the electronic services provided through the portal, and infrastructure and future projects.
The conference reached a number of conclusions as follows:
1. The Public Prosecution affirms its support to HE President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian leadership's vision in their approaches aiming at ending the occupation and achieving justice and equality before the law between all without any favoritism or delay. It also stresses on its technical and logistic readiness for the requirements of the coming phase despite the complexities imposed by the occupation, and it denounces the attack on law enforcement services, the judiciary, the public prosecution, and the Anti-corruption Commission and the seconded prosecution there stressing on the support of all prosecutors and the Attorney General to the ACC and that the prosecution will firmly face this attack in order to be able to achieve its message in enforcing accountability.
2. The Public Prosecution stresses on the necessity to prosecute Israeli war criminal for all the crimes they have committed against the Palestinian people, and that it supports all efforts in this regard and values all activities of the public prosecution in documenting the committed war crimes. The Public Prosecution stresses on the need to start preparing files on these crimes in order to submit them to the competent international judicial bodies in the near future.
3. The Public Prosecution stresses that it will continue the administrative development process which will in turn expedite processing administrative applications, establish electronic follow-up and organization system, connecting district prosecution offices in the public prosecution's strategic plan while continuing the development of infrastructure and guaranteeing that it meets the needs of gender and human rights.
4. Strengthen partnership and complementation with all educational, social and governmental institutions , namely the judiciary, the Ministry of Justice, security, lawyers, the Palestinian Monetary Authority and all partners through MOUs and joint projects aiming at the provision of the best services to the public and guarantee access of all categories of the society to justice, which enables the public prosecution to achieve its mission, leading to raising the professional and theoretical capacity of prosecutors.
5. The Public Prosecution stresses on the importance of international cooperation in prosecuting all types and forms of crime, and calls on the Palestinian government to provide it with competent staff in this regard.
6. The Public Prosecution stresses on the necessity of speeding the issuance of modern laws that respond to the challenges facing the Palestinian society and assist the prosecution in investigating crimes and prosecuting perpetrators, and in providing all the technical capacity related to investigations, particularly the labs needed to examine evidence.
7. The Public Prosecution stresses on the necessity of continuing strengthening relations with the partners in the Economic Crimes Task Force in order to promote the capacity of prosecutors in fighting this type of crimes that has become an immediate and increasing danger on the Palestinian economy and the security of the Palestinian society.
At the end of the conference, the Public Prosecution tales this opportunity to extend its appreciation and gratitude to HE President Mahmoud Abbas for his unlimited support, the Prime Minister for honoring us with opening the conference which reflects the governments vision and desire to continue supporting and developing the justice sector, the High Judicial Council and all its members and the Ministry of Justice and donors for their continued support to the Public Prosecution, namely the Canadian Government through Sharaka Project, the US Government through INL, the State Department, JSAP, and EUPOLCOPPS. We would also like to extend our sincere appreciation to the UNDP for funding this conference. Much appreciation also goes to the Hashimite Kingdom of Jordan, the Kingdom of Morocco, Egypt, UAE, and Bahrain.
Issued in Jericho on 20/12/2014
Judge/ M. Abdul Ghani Al-Eweiwi