Dr Hareesh Kumar, Department of Forensic Medicine Head at Ayder Referral Hospital, Mekelle University, in a chat, emphasizing the supreme importance of forensic science, spoke at length as to how this scientific component can transform the criminal investigation system in Ethiopia.

On existing policing infrastructure, he said, the present infrastructure might look minimal yet it’s adequate to probe case on regular basis. But, in terms of advanced technology and officers with desired qualification, things need to be improved and I hope with a yearlong training, they will be able to do a wonderful job.

Adding further, he said, the investigation starts from crime scene till the most advance DNA test, so, if an investigating officer gets equipped with knowledge about forensic anthropology, ballistic, entomology, instrumentation, toxicology, etc. that contribute immensely in ascertaining evidences will be an asset. And, he hoped in next 5-to-10 years, things will change as support from different universities, India and other nations are already pouring in.

He reiterated that the process has already started, since last four years much training have been imparted to members of judiciary and police officers at Adigrath and Shire in Tigray. And it has great impact which was evident the way they later carried out their investigations.

Buttressing his points, he said as of now over 15 officers have acquired technical expertise in forensic pathology and know how to relate a case with healthcare professional, shortcoming and what positive aspect physician’s examination can bring in, etc. Training in instrumentation technology and investigative methods will make them smart in collecting proofs from the crime scene.

On gulf between conviction rate and justice, he said many cases often ends up inconclusive due to lack of technical and scientific investigations that can be bridged by continuous trainings. Moreover, they must be put on case basis by approaching university or research division; even our institute willingly can build their capacity for investigation purposes.

On pathology, he adds, in a nutshell, forensic chemistry is the part and parcel of forensic pathology investigation; without it, investigation and toxicological screening of any sample, we preserve, and end result will be inconclusive. Therefore, toxicology and forensic chemistry are complementary to each other, he averred.

On AMU’s UG program in Forensic Chemistry and Toxicology, he said, instrumentation and technical advancement are something to be done independently; it’s not necessarily related all the time to criminal probe, so definitely AMU can act as a research and training Centre.

When it comes to integrating forensic pathology with investigation, we need discussion with police commission and prosecution department to understand how legitimate we are and what will be the validity of reports and acceptance level of court. Yes, first of all, we have to have basic and pathology Centre then go for toxicology, but, still you can go ahead as a research and training Centre, he quipped.


(Corporate Communication Directorate)