Sign agreements to extradite transborder criminals, govt told

Kathmandu, January 29

A three-day joint conference of government attorneys and police issued a 26-point declaration urging stakeholders to end politicisation of crimes.

The conference urged the government to sign bilateral and multilateral agreements to extradite criminals involved in transborder crimes.

Scientific method of evidence gathering is necessary in the course of investigation and the government needs to equip its forensic lab with much needed resources, the declaration stated.

The conference also urged the government to ensure that detectives get needed information from the offices of social networking sites in the course of investigating crimes committed by using social networking sites.

The conference also said that the Office of the Attorney General should be the sole prosecuting authority and laws should be changed to ensure the same.

At present, under some laws, government bodies other than the Office of Attorney General have powers to prosecute the accused.

Similarly, the conference also said that police detectives should have the power to investigate all criminal cases. Under the current law, there are other government bodies that investigate the cases not listed in schedule 1 of the Government Case Act.

The conference said there was need for certifying the statements of the victims of rape, kidnapping and hostage-taking immediately after their statements are recorded.

The conference said such measures were necessary to discourage unscrupulous elements from intimidating the victims and forcing them to retract their statements.

The conference said withdrawing criminal cases could encourage impunity and therefore, the government should withdraw cases only in exceptional circumstances.

The conference also stated that fair trial and respect for human rights will be a special priority of detectives during investigation of crimes.

Police detectives and government attorneys also expressed their commitment against torture.

“Provisions should be made to punish those who do not help the detectives during investigation,” read the declaration.

The conference said the government should provide for additional perks and privileges to detectives and government attorneys.

They said they were mindful of constitutional provision that the accused must be assumed innocent until proven guilty and the accused should have chance to meet their lawyers and family members in detention.

The government attorneys and police detectives also expressed their commitment to fundamental rights guaranteed in the constitution.

Addressing the closing ceremony Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Home Affairs Bimalendra Nidhi said law enforcement agencies had a crucial role in supporting the government to implement the constitution and hold all three levels of elections within the constitutional deadline.