A conference on the coordination of investigations of war crimes committed during the Russian aggression was held in the capital of the Netherlands.
Ukraine’s chief prosecutor for War Crimes and representatives of European judicial authorities met on Thursday to coordinate investigations into war crimes committed during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Given that more than 20,000 investigations are underway and that the teams conducting these investigations report to different countries, the evidence provided during their work needs to be streamlined, the meeting participants stressed.
“Like the climate strategy and the COVID strategy, we need a strategy of accountability,” Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra said at a meeting in The Hague.
In this regard, Hoekstra said that Western countries need to consider the creation of a special tribunal to consider war crimes committed in Ukraine.
“There are grounds for considering this issue; as far as I understand, we have to fill the vacuum. The International Criminal Court has no jurisdiction,” Hoekstra said at the end of an international conference on the possibilities of prosecuting war crimes in Ukraine. – Therefore, I can assume that we will consider the possibility of creating such a tribunal. It probably won’t be easy, but we will strive to help Ukraine wherever possible.”
The Chief Prosecutor of Ukraine Iryna Venediktova said that Ukraine has already begun the prosecution of 127 suspects in war crimes.
“While this meeting is taking place, Russian troops continue to commit atrocities in Ukraine with terrifying intensity,” said US Envoy Uzra Zeya, who attended the meeting. “Every day the number of war crimes increases: rape, torture, extrajudicial executions, disappearances, forced deportations, attacks on schools, hospitals, playgrounds, residential buildings, granaries, water and gas supply facilities.”
EU Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders noted that suspects of war crimes and genocide are still at large after the conflicts in Rwanda, Darfur, Syria, Congo and the Balkans.
According to him, countries trying to document crimes face “a gigantic task, not least because it requires the collection and storage of evidence in the midst of war.”
The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan, said that there are grounds for hope, since more than 40 states are seeking measures in connection with the war in Ukraine through the court. The ICC has sent a team of experts to investigate, the largest in its 20-year history.