In April 2016, EUCAP-Sahel-Mali organized a “Judicial Investigation Leadership” training course, for a 14 Local Police Officers class, 7 from the National Police (including a woman) and 7 from the Gendarmerie.
This training was delivered by 2 EGF members, Adjutant-chef Marc Pecel from the French gendarmerie and Maresciallo Capo Sergio Luchetti from the Italian Carabinieri. A magistrate from the BAMAKO Judicial Appeal Court also met the class for a discussion.
The aim, to those who represent the “men on the ground” (talking about judicial investigation), was to let them know what the Public Prosecutors (P.P.) or the Investigative Judges (I.J), are expecting from them.
As a matter of fact, a Judicial Inquiry’s Officer must show leadership skills, conducting, organizing and monitoring inquiries, having in mind an analysis and systematic spirit, especially when leading “his” investigation team. He will report afterwards both, to his hierarchy and to the judicial authorities, about the results achieved.
During the meeting, the group questioned the magistrate, sharing with him their daily difficulties, including the lack of equipments and technical means. As an example, in the Malian practice, only the heads of units sign official reports even when operations and document redactions were done by their subordinates. As an answer, the magistrate confirmed that, by the law, those who directly conduct the investigations, must sign the reports.
After the course, the magistrate underlined that such exchanges could contribute in reinforcing and improving the legal process system in Mali. He also stated : “I am happy to see that those Officers are consciousness regarding the task of a Judicial Inquiry’s leader, as well as they know the rights that come along. Unfortunately we also realized that Malian Police Officers still not have the lead, while investigating”
From their side, the police officers show interest in encouraging direct contacts, to whom they are not used with, between magistrates and investigators, asking for the possibility to organize such meetings on a regular basis.
EUCAP trainers see these meetings as an evidence of the professional commitment of the large amount of Malian Police Officers who are currently involved in judicial matters.
Nevertheless Malian Police and Gendarme Officers would like to see the system moving toward a more modern and functional practice of their job. This could allow them to fully assume the important responsibilities the Malian laws give to them.
Such improvements could possibly enhance the role of Malian Police and Gendarme Officers to be full capacity players of the legal chain, also enhancing their trust toward both, their own chain of command and the judicial one.