Ukraine's Prosecutor General Confirmed That US to Send Evidence of Russian War Crimes to the Hague

Thursday, 27 July 2023

The Ukrainian Prosecutor General stated on Twitter that the US decision represents a "historic step" towards establishing comprehensive accountability for Russia's international crimes.

He expressed gratitude to US Attorney General Merrick Garland and colleagues from the US Department of Justice for their cooperation.

The Ukrainian Prosecutor General hopes for continued collaboration between the US, Ukraine, and the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.

Kostin did not comment on the information that US intelligence services gathered data on Russia's war crimes in Ukraine.

The New York Times said American special services gathered information, including details about the Russian officials' decision to deliberately strike Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure and to forcibly deport thousands of Ukrainian children from the occupied territory.

The NYT noted the US has shared some evidence with Ukrainian prosecutors, but refrained from providing it to The Hague.

Last year, the US Congress legislatively allowed the sharing of critical evidence of war crimes and intelligence with the International Criminal Court. However, the Pentagon opposes providing the International Criminal Court with evidence of Russia's war crimes in Ukraine, collected by American intelligence agencies, because they fear creating a precedent for bringing Americans to justice in the future.

The United States has not ratified the Rome Statute, which governs the International Criminal Court's operation. The US administrations' position has been that the ICC lacks jurisdiction over citizens of countries that are not parties to the Rome Statute, even if war crimes occur within the territory of a country that has signed it, as is the case with Ukraine.

In recent years, this position has been criticised by some American lawyers who argue that the official Washington interpretation is not shared by the rest of the world. They also point out that the Rome Statute only involves the ICC concerning countries without adequate judicial systems capable of handling international crimes, which does not apply to the US.

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