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Social media – a tool for collecting evidence and fighting crime

12 December 2017

A more effective prosecution of organised crime and high level corruption was the focus of the two-day workshop managed by EULEX Executive Division experts in cooperation with the Kosovo Academy of Justice.

The training focused on raising awareness of Kosovo prosecutors and police regarding evidence that is collected from Facebook and other online social media platforms. The training was designed to enhance the prosecutors’ technical and legal skills in order to use such evidence to prove the composition structure and activity of organized criminal groups, to verify alibies and credibility of testimonial evidence, to locate fugitive suspects, proceeds of criminal offences, and so on. 

George Aftene, manager of the project and legal officer for the EULEX prosecution Unit, pointed out the importance of this training: “During my work in executive cases I noticed that evidence available on social media networks is typically ignored by the investigative authorities. This workshop was meant to raise awareness of the local prosecutors on such evidence and to equip them with the knowledge on what and how admissible evidence could be obtained from Facebook and other online social networks. The practical exercises throughout this workshop helped our participants understand the whole chain of collecting information from online social media and turning it into admissible evidence in criminal proceedings.”

Moreover, the methodology of the workshop was oriented on the practical side, so that the local prosecutors and police get the ‘real feel’ of various case studies and factual scenarios.

Local prosecutors and police also estimate that this training will have a very positive impact on their daily jobs by giving them useful tools and know-how on how to use available information in various criminal proceedings.

“Brief Guidelines on Facebook Evidence” will be the fruition of the two-day workshop. These written guidelines will provide a practical, easy to consult instrument for future use by the local prosecutors who are involved in investigation and prosecution processes in organized crime and corruption cases.
 

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