Law professionals and government officials from the Dhi Qar Province attended a rule of law seminar held at the Mittica Training Center in Nasiriyah, where they discussed the use of evidence to prosecute suspects accused of employing explosive devices.

The seminar was one of many to stimulate discussion among the Iraqi populace about a variety of topics, ranging from federalism to medical care.

Iraqi judges, lawyers, policemen and soldiers were in attendance for the event.

"The main focus of this whole meeting was to discuss the process of collecting evidence and exploiting it, and also, how that will lead to a warrant, a trial, and then to a sentence," said Capt. Tyrone Rankin, South Range, Mich., native and explosive ordinance disposal officer with the special weapons exploitation team of the 663rd Ordinance Company, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.

During the discussion, Rankin and his team went over the steps for approaching an explosive ordnance crime scene: site security, photography, collecting finger prints, evidence handling, and reporting information.

Iraq already has a crime scene investigation system in place similar to the United States, but it was helpful to witness the American process and see the differences, said Kamil Rashad, the chief investigative judge for the Investigation Court in Dhi Qar.

The proper exploitation of evidence is part of strengthening the judicial system, which protects the people of Iraq and gains their trust, said Capt. Dan McAuliffe, deputy brigade judge advocate with the 1st Army Training Support Division-West, currently attached to Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 3rd Special Troops Battalion, 3rd BCT, 4th Inf. Div.

"A crime is a crime, whether it happens to an Iraqi or an American," said Jalil A'adnan, the deputy chief judge with the Specialist Court in Nasiriyah. "It's crucial that we have enough evidence so that these criminals can be brought to justice."