RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and the International Association of Prosecutors (IAP) have agreed to work together to combat radical ideologies worldwide after a meeting in Riyadh.
In an exclusive interview with Arab News, IAP President Cheol-Kyu Hwang said: “The attorney general of the Saudi Public Prosecution is a strong supporter of the IAP. The attorney general invited the IAP delegation, including me, to come to Saudi Arabia for a meeting to discuss cooperation. The agenda of the meeting was: Improving the relationship between Saudi
Public Prosecution and the IAP for international cooperation, enhancement of the prosecution’s integrity and transparency, digital transformation in the prosecution, and education and training for prosecutors.”
“After the intensive discussion, both parties successfully could reach fruitful outcomes and promised to cooperate more closely and regularly in the future,” Hwang said.
“We met several Saudi senior officials including the deputy attorney general. The head of the department for international cooperation was present, as the main goal of the IAP is to strengthen cooperation between prosecutors all over the world,” he said.
“We were very lucky to be able to meet the attorney general and his staff not only during the official part of our visit, when we discussed our future cooperation, but also during informal moments.”
Asked about joint cooperation with Saudi Arabia and efforts to combat radical ideologies and thoughts, Hwang said: “During the meeting, the attorney general raised the importance of fighting terrorism worldwide, including the financing of terrorism and money laundering.”
“I can only underline the importance of fighting those crimes as those crimes undermine the stability of governments and countries,” he said, adding that for the IAP, these topics are issues that have been frequently discussed during meetings and conferences.
“Again at the upcoming annual conference in Athens, Greece in September 2020, the main topic would be related to the fight against terrorism,” he said.
When asked what the organization did against the campaign against Saudi Arabia in the past, Hwang said: “The IAP is strictly a non-political association, that will never interfere in disputes between states. The IAP will never give its opinion about internal matters in any state or territory, respecting its sovereignty. The IAP stands for fair prosecutions in accordance with the IAP Standards. The IAP is not in a position to assess internal situations in any country, but will always offer its help and assistance to its members to strive to improve their prosecutorial work.”
On how it evaluates the transparency of the Saudi Arabia public prosecution, he said: “During this visit, the attorney general and his staff gave the IAP delegation a very good insight into the work of the Saudi Public Prosecution for establishing the rule of law and criminal justice, with respect to its effective powers, efficient control mechanisms, and very importantly about the advanced digitalising of the registration and the case management in the prosecution.”
Hwang said that the IAP delegation was overwhelmed by the Saudi’s warm hospitality and rich culture.
“Of course, these are not the main reasons for our visit. But good atmosphere and friendship always contribute a lot to better trust and cooperation,” he said.
The IAP, based in the Hague, is the only global non-governmental organization of prosecutors. Established by the UN in 1995, it consists of prosecutors from 180 countries. Its aims include expanding and strengthening mutual assistance in investigating crimes such as drug trafficking and money laundering.