February 21. 2024. 8:01

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Dutch, UK justice officials chair conference on Russian war crimes

Over 30 justice ministers gathered in London on Monday to discuss how they can support the International Criminal Court in holding Russia accountable for war crimes it is committing in Ukraine.

The ICC has been investigating war crimes in Ukraine since the start of the Russian aggression over a year ago. The conference comes just days after the court issued an arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin over war crimes committed in Ukraine.

“As an international community, we must take responsibility for ensuring that the perpetrators of crimes committed during the war in Ukraine are prosecuted,” Dutch Justice Minister DIlan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius said at the start of the conference co-organised with Deputy Prime Minister and UK Secretary of State for Justice Dominic Raab.

“Together, we must ensure that evidence is secured, witnesses are heard, but also trauma assistance is given to victims. The Ukrainian people have shown more than once how strong they are, hardened but never broken. They deserve our support in getting justice,” she added.

Raab echoed these sentiments: “We are gathering in London today united by one cause to hold war criminals to account for the atrocities committed in Ukraine during this unjust, unprovoked and unlawful invasion.”

“The UK, alongside the international community, will continue to provide the International Criminal Court with the funding, people and expertise to ensure justice is served,” he said.

The Dutch will provide the ICC’s investigation with €1 million in additional financial support, including €500,000 for victims of sexual and gender-related violence and €500.000 for an ICC fund dedicated to obtaining knowledge and capacities from other countries. The Dutch are also expected to reiterate their commitment to sending forensic teams to Ukraine to help with investigations, as they have already done last year.

“Together with Ukraine, we will make sure there’s no impunity for the Russian invader. Together we will do everything in our power to ensure that justice prevails and that the perpetrators of the most heinous crimes are held accountable. Together with Ukraine, we are striving for justice, security and peace,” Yeşilgöz-Zegerius also said.

(Benedikt Stöckl | EURACTIV.com)