International Criminal Court to open war crimes investigation in Ukraine

International Criminal Court to open war crimes investigation in Ukraine

The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court stated that he plans to open an investigation “as quickly as possible” into war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine.

Prosecutor Karim Khan said in a statement that the investigation will examine alleged crimes committed before the Russian invasion, but added that “given the expansion of the conflict in recent days, it is my intention that this investigation also cover any new alleged crimes that fall.” within the jurisdiction of my office and committed by any party to the conflict in any part of the territory of Ukraine.”

The court has already conducted a preliminary investigation into crimes related to the violent crackdown on pro-European protests in Kiev in 2013-2014, and allegations of crimes in Crimea — annexed by Russia in 2014 — and eastern Ukraine.

In December 2020, then-ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said the investigation uncovered indications that “a wide range of conduct constituting war crimes and crimes against humanity has been committed in Ukraine within the jurisdiction of the ICC.” Court”.

However, the court prosecutors had not yet requested permission from the judges to open a full-scale investigation.

Khan says he will now open the investigation planned by his predecessor and expand it to include crimes committed in the fighting since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last week.

Melissa Galbraith
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