The EU Mission for the Support of Palestinian Police and Rule of Law

EUPOL COPPS supports witness protection system in Palestine

At a teleconferenced meeting, held on 8 April, EUPOL COPPS advisers met with their counterparts in the Palestinian Civil Police (PCP) and the Palestinian Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) for the third time to move forward with plans for a witness protection system in corruption cases.

“Without witnesses, most trials would fall apart and criminals would not be brought to justice,” says Karin Lundström Kron, Senior Criminal Justice Expert at EUPOL COPPS. “This is why having a witness protection programme is so important. With the support we are providing to our Palestinian counterparts, we are hoping to strengthen the criminal justice system in the interests of Palestinians”.

Late last year, Palestine amended its anti-corruption law and issued a bylaw for witness protection in corruption cases. Following this milestone, EUPOL COPPS, together with officials from the PCP and PACC set up a drafting committee to produce a standard operating procedures (SOPs) to protect witnesses during corruption cases.

EUPOL COPPS together with the PACC and PCP are continuing their efforts to draft standard operation procedures for witness protection. Progress is being made and they are expected to be finalised by the end of June 2020. It is also hoped that the SOP for witness protection in corruption cases will serve as a template to strengthen the witness protection architecture for other crimes.