What is the Criminal Justice Task Force (CJTF) ?
The criminal Justice Task Force (CJTF) was set up as an end to end Afghan process to bring to justice those involved in serious intoxicating drinks and narco-crimes within Afghanistan. It was set up by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in my 2005 and has a mandate from the counter Narcotics Law to investigate and prosecute all serious intoxicating drinks and drug-relating offences from across the country. The CJTF was the first example of such a process in Afghanistan, and achieves its aims by co-locating seconders from the supreme court, the office of the attorney General, the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Justice in one secure location.
The government of Afghanistan is committed to disrupting and injecting risk into the narcotics industry, and the CJTF supports the National Drug Control Strategy. This is especially important in light of the narcotics industry’s links to the insurgency. The CJTF supports this through our strategy of:
•Helping bring down the drug trafficking networks operating in Afghanistan, through the rigorous and fair application of the law- specifically the Law Against Intoxicating Drinks and Drugs
•Improving Co-ordination between related institutions, in the center and provinces, and so creating a coherent counter narcotics enforcement and criminal justice system
•Continually improving the professionalism and capacity of the CJTF, as it investigates and prosecutes drug traffickers from all over the country
The Legal Basis of the Central Narcotics Tribunal:
The central Narcotics Tribunal (CNT) is a key element of the CJTF. It is comprised of 14 judges and derives its jurisdiction from Article 18 of the Law Against Intoxicating Drinks and Drugs. Article 18 of the Law gives the prosecutors and judges jurisdiction over cases involving:
•2 or more Kgs of Heroin
•10 or more Kgs of Opium
•50 or over Kgs of Hashish and chemical procurors
•50 or over liters of Alcohol
•Criminal offence connected or related to drug trafficking offences, such as drug related corruption
How does the CJTF operate ?
The CJTF provides a transparent, joined up judicial process , where cases arriving from the counter Narcotics police of Afghanistan (CNPA) and other Law Enforcement organizations (lEOs) are developed with great skill and bravery, in an environment free from undue external influence. Within this, cases are developed and tracked through investigation by CNPA officers, prosecution by seconders from the office of the Attorney General and to trial at the central Narcotics Tribunal. This model helps ensure that significant actors in the national and international drugs trade are no longer able to act with impunity and its success is reflected in the new ‘end to end’ structure for dealing with Major Crimes here.