| 27 February 2024, Tuesday |

ICC says may investigate possible war crimes after Russian invasion of Ukraine

Karim Khan, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), raised worry over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Friday, saying his court may probe alleged war crimes in the country.

“With growing worry, I have been closely monitoring recent happenings in and around Ukraine,” Khan said in a statement.

“I warn all parties engaged in hostilities on Ukrainian soil that my office has the authority to examine any act of genocide, crime against humanity, or war crime perpetrated within Ukraine.”

Following the Russian annexation of Crimea in March 2014 and the subsequent fighting in eastern Ukraine between pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian government forces, Ukraine accepted ICC jurisdiction for crimes against humanity and war crimes committed on its territory since February 2014.

In December 2020, the office of the prosecutor announced it had reason to believe war crimes and other crimes were committed during the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

The preliminary examination was closed, but a formal request to judges to open a full investigation has not been filed yet. Judges must agree before an investigation can be opened.

In December last year, Khan said there was no update on the case when asked about progress of the examination.

Russia is not a member of the ICC and has opposed the ICC case.

However, the court can investigate alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed on the territory of Ukraine regardless of the nationality of the alleged perpetrators.

  • Reuters