Next week, 42 investigators from the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, including forensic experts and analysts, will arrive in Ukraine. ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan stated this in an interview with the French newspaper Le Monde.
“Next week, 42 investigators will be sent to Ukraine. This is the largest shipment my institution has ever undertaken. 30 of them were seconded by the Dutch government, including forensic experts and analysts,— he said.
The prosecutor noted that the first thing to do was to “investigate the facts and establish the truth.” Khan added that the ICC has a cooperation agreement with a joint investigation team set up by Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine. “The main thing is that the investigations are credible, honest and independent, and that the judge can then make a decision,” — emphasized the prosecutor.
The ICC is not part of the UN structures, it was established in accordance with the Rome Statute, signed in 1998. The court is mandated to try not states, but individuals, its competence includes bringing to justice for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
Ukraine and Russia signed the Rome Statute in 2000, but have not ratified this document .
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the start of a special military operation to “denazify” and “demilitarization” Ukraine 24 February. He called the protection of the population of Donbass from “genocide by the Kyiv regime” one of the goals of the operation.
On February 27, Ukraine filed a lawsuit against Russia with the International Court of Justice in The Hague. President Volodymyr Zelensky demanded that Moscow be held accountable “for manipulating the concept of 'genocide'” to justify aggression. Also, the Ukrainian authorities asked the ICC to initiate proceedings, applying for recognition of the court's jurisdiction over crimes allegedly committed in eastern Ukraine and Crimea, Khan said in early May.
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On March 16, the International Court of Justice demanded the termination of the Russian military operation in Ukraine. “The Russian Federation must immediately suspend military operations that it launched on February 24, 2022 on the territory of Ukraine,” — called on the court. 13 judges supported this decision, two voted “against”.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs representative Maria Zakharova said earlier that the court has no jurisdiction in considering the issue of a special operation.
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