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Ukraine: ICC launches war crimes investigation – here’s how it will work

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The International Criminal Court (ICC) has announced an investigation into alleged war crimes being committed in Ukraine. What exactly does that mean and what will be involved?

The investigation was requested by the Lithuanian government, with Justice Minister Evelina Dobrovolska stating: “War crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Russian and Belarusian leadership cannot be left unpunished.” The ICC prosecutor Karim Khan has cited the recent expansion of the conflict, along with the findings of an earlier preliminary investigation into the Russian occupation of Crimea, as reasons to begin investigating now.

Khan’s office has jurisdiction to investigate any acts of genocide, war crimes or crimes against humanity committed in Ukraine since February 20, 2014. During the investigation stage, the prosecutor will gather the evidence necessary to identify what crimes may have been committed and who allegedly committed them. The investigation will culminate in either the issuance of arrest warrants against individuals suspected of committing crimes, or a decision not to prosecute due to lack of evidence.

The prosecutor’s office will gather and examine evidence, and question potential suspects, witnesses and victims.........

© The Conversation

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