Remarks at the Donation Ceremony for ICITAP Forensics Project on Renovation of the Evidence Storage Premises

Ambassador Jess Baily

July 15, 2015

Thank you Minister Chavkov. I am pleased to be here today to honor the partnership the United States enjoys with Macedonia, in particular by our shared commitment to enhancing rule of law and law enforcement capacity in Macedonia.

In October 2013, the Ministry of Interior and the U.S. Embassy’s International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program or “ICITAP” identified the need for extensive renovations to improve Forensics Department evidence storage and processing capacity.   And why is this important? Because up-to-date MoI facilities help ensure that evidence is properly stored and accounted for, so that cases can be accurately and thoroughly investigated, and at the end of the process, the good guys can catch the bad guys.

During the past three months the Forensics Building has undergone a complex renovation made possible by a $200,000 donation from the United States Government.  This transformed it into a more multi-functional, modern facility for evidence collection, handling, and processing.  Within its confines, there are rooms for evidence intake, storage, and archiving, as well as rooms for evidence processing, investigation, and examination using a wide range of methods and laboratory procedures.

The new increased storage space and improved evidence security procedures will result in greater availability of valuable evidence during criminal trials, including some that will target major organized crime and narcotics offender networks. This will also ensure fairer trials, by allowing prosecutors and law enforcement officials to improve the admissibility of evidence and handling procedures.

Enhancing rule of law is one of our most important shared priorities, and these renovated forensics premises will help Macedonian law enforcement professionals and prosecutors better serve all the citizens of Macedonia.  We are proud to contribute to this effort, as just one part of the close partnership the United States enjoys with Macedonia.

It’s a long and difficult process to investigate and prosecute the bad guys, but I hope that this new facility makes your job just a little easier, all while protecting the rights of citizens.

Thank you.