Cablegate: Fy2009 Project Proposal for Inl Law Enforcement


DE RUEHKA #0805/01 2290852
O 170852Z AUG 09




E.O. 12958: N/A



Post believes INL funds for law enforcement can most
effectively focus on a program providing highly
skilled legislative and technical support in the areas of
prosecutorial and judicial reform. Embassy Dhaka requests
INL concurrence for the use of $200,000 for the
project as outlined in this cable.

A. Title/Estimated Cost/Priority

Title: Resident Legal Advisor (RLA) Program - Law
Enforcement Restructuring, Reform, and Operations

Estimated Cost: $200,000

Priority: Priority one out of one projects

B. Background to the Request

This activity is an outgrowth of past US activities
and experience with the failings within the Bangladeshi law
enforcement and judicial sectors. The US Department of
Justice (DOJ),s Office of Overseas Prosecutorial
Development Assistance and Training (OPDAT) placed its
first RLA in South Asia (at Embassy Dhaka, covering
Bangladesh) in March 2005. The current RLA arrived in
Dhaka in September 2008. The RLA presently implements and
supports primarily NADR-funded programs aimed at
strengthening the Government of Bangladesh,s anti-money
laundering/terrorist financing regime and improving the
capability of Bangladeshi law enforcement to investigate
and prosecute complex financial crimes.

In addition, past INL funding in Bangladesh helped the
government strengthen the capacity of law enforcement
and of rule of law institutions to interrupt national and
transnational human trafficking networks. The RLA in
Bangladesh and USAID used INL funding to provide training
and technical assistance for law enforcement. Assistance
was also used to improve the legal framework for addressing
human trafficking.

As part of an INL-funded program, an intermittent legal
advisor (ILA) was assigned to the US Embassy Dhaka between
March and June 2009. The ILA worked with Bangladeshi law
enforcement authorities to establish best practices for
mutual legal assistance requests (MLARs) to the US and
other countries.

This program request flows from the above activities
and seeks to address broader problems and issues with
Bangladeshi law enforcement and judiciary highlighted
during the RLA,s prior activities. In FY2009, as
Bangladesh returns to democracy after two years of a
caretaker government, U.S. government assistance can help
support judicial reform and effective civilian law
enforcement. Bangladesh faces significant threats from the
domestic and international criminals who take advantage of
porous borders to conduct illicit activities, such as
trafficking in persons, narcotics, arms, and terrorism.
There is a strong need to support law enforcement and
judicial reform through training and operational support as
well as legislative efforts. Bangladeshi communities and
individuals must be encouraged to work with law enforcement
to reassert control over ungoverned spaces.

The RLA program can clearly be integrated into the vision
detailed in the Mission Strategic Plan (MSP) for the US
Mission to Bangladesh for FY2009. The MSP noted that
&Bangladesh suffers from increasingly weak governance and
deteriorating law and order, exacerbated by rampant
corruption.8 The MSP adds, &In recent years, Bangladesh
has also struggled with a sharp rise in violent
extremism.8 In considering these conditions, the MSP
concludes that &the overriding USG priority in Bangladesh
is the promotion of Peace and Security ) primarily by
countering terrorism and violent extremism and
strengthening just and democratic governance.8 The MSP
later advises that &the second priority area for USG
assistance to Bangladesh is Democracy and Governance.
Under this priority, the U.S. Mission to Bangladesh will

work to(strengthen public institutions, promote greater
transparency(increase service delivery, promote greater
respect for human rights, and continue to combat human

The RLA program allows for benefits to specific areas of
law enforcement and the judiciary noted above (terrorism,
financial crimes, human trafficking, etc) but also to a
broader spectrum of legal development work. Bangladesh,s
ability to prosecute and adjudicate a variety of cases -
including terrorism, trafficking, financial crimes, and
corruption - are hindered by the multitude of problems in
the procuracy and the judiciary. The RLA program will also
support a &whole of government approach8 by complementing
other activities at the Embassy such as anti-human
trafficking programs carried out by USAID and
counter-terrorism initiatives overseen by members of the
Post,s Counter-Terrorism Working Group.

The proposed program will help build the fundamental
capacity of Bangladesh,s prosecutorial and judicial

In the immediate future, the U.S. government plans to
initiate a large community policing program funded by the
Department of Defense (DOD) through 1207 funds. The United
Kingdom, Australia, and UNDP are among the international
partners who have focused efforts on police reform in
Bangladesh. International efforts have been considerably
less in the areas covered by the proposed RLA program, in
particular prosecutorial reform. International players have
initiated limited projects aimed at the judiciary but close
observers would acknowledge that much work remains to be done
in the sphere of judicial reform.

C. Goal

Through the proposed program, the RLA will seek to develop
an effective criminal justice system, which is required to
address transnational threats and to support a democratic
government that respects human rights. The RLA program
also aims to train and develop a career prosecutor corps
and depoliticize the appointment of prosecutors and
judges. The RLA program will complement other US
government assistance projects to develop the capacity of
law enforcement agencies and the criminal and judicial
system. As detailed above, the program supports MSP goals.

D. Project Description

FY 2009 will be the first year of an INL law enforcement
development project in Bangladesh. The RLA program
in Bangladesh will be funded by the Department of State
(DOS) and implemented by the RLA from the DOJ,s OPDAT.
Initially, INL funds will support the formal assessment of
the current performance of the Bangladeshi prosecutorial and
judicial service. In FY2009 and in subsequent years, such
funds will result in training, technical assistance and
equipment to develop and sustain the capacity of law
enforcement agencies and the judiciary to combat criminal
threats. This project will complement the larger community
policing program funded by DOD through the 1207 mechanism as
well as the ongoing police training efforts of USAID
(Anti-Combating Trafficking (ACT) program) and the Regional
Security Office (ATA programs).

The FY2009 INL program will increase the support to develop
Bangladesh,s criminal justice system. Through the
provision of appropriate legal experts, including but not
limited to the RLA, the RLA Office will develop training
programs, symposia and conferences on the role of
legislative reform in supporting the rule of law and other
issues related to judicial reform. A possible topic for
the first training and legislative initiative could be
establishing and developing a career prosecutorial
service. The FY2009 funds will play the important role of
laying the ground work for an expanded INL development
project in subsequent years.

E. Performance Indicators

-- Performance measures for RLA efforts:

(1) Training provided to members of the prosecutorial and

judicial services strengthens their capacity and focus on
the fundamentals of investigating, prosecuting and/or
adjudicating major criminal cases.

(2) Bangladeshi experts and legislators, working with DOJ
and RLA input, develop concrete recommendations for
improvements in substantive and procedural laws and
regulations governing the conduct of major crime
prosecutions and adjudication.

(3) Legislation aimed at establishing viable, professional,
and independent prosecutorial and judicial services is

F. Sustainability

Since the establishment of the RLA Office in 2005, the RLA
in country has maintained a positive working relationship
with three separate governments (BNP, caretaker, and Awami
League (AL)). In the first months of the newly-elected AL
government, the RLA has engaged in numerous discussions
with the Law Minister, the Attorney General, and other law
enforcement counterparts regarding areas of possible
reform. In particular, the Law Minister has highlighted
the need for judicial reform and evidenced support for
prosecutorial reform. The resources and training programs
furnished by the RLA in support of the instant initiative
will help consolidate efforts in Bangladesh as well as
enhance long-term capabilities and practices.

G. Timeline

Timeline for this proposal is one year, with continuation
for some projects expected in FY2010 and beyond.

H. Evaluation

The RLA will continually evaluate goals and performance
indicators and will make program adjustments, in
consultation with INL, as appropriate. The RLA will report
to INL on an ongoing basis. The RLA will work with the
Embassy,s Political and Economic Section to monitor the
legal situation in-country. He will also consult the
perception surveys developed by PACOM and USAID.

© Scoop Media

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