Justice Secretary to offer support in Russian war crimes probe during visit to The Hague

  • Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab will visit The Hague on Monday
  • Providing UK legal expertise and technical support to the International Criminal Court
  • UK to bring together broad coalition of countries to help war crimes investigations

The visit will also outline how the international community can best support the Court as the Deputy Prime Minister pledges to bring together a broad coalition of countries that also have the capacity to assist in the investigation.

This follows a virtual meeting last week with Ukraine’s Attorney General Iryna Venediktova and Attorney General Suella Braverman to discuss the help the country needs to collect and preserve evidence of war crimes.

This is the latest in a series of efforts to provide Ukraine with economic, diplomatic, humanitarian and defensive support alongside lethal aid. The UK government is also exploring how to prevent Russian oligarchs from using the UK legal system to intimidate and silence their critics.

The Deputy Prime Minister will meet ICC Prosecutor, Karim AA Khan QC, his Registrar, Peter Lewis, and the President of the Court, Judge Piotr Hofmański. He will underline the UK’s support for the Court and respect for its independence.

Deputy Prime Minister, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice Dominic Raab said:

Tomorrow I will go to The Hague to offer the ICC Technical support from the UK to bring those responsible for war crimes in Ukraine to justice – including support with the immediate priority of collecting and preserving evidence.

Russian commanders who commit war crimes must know that they cannot act with impunity. Like Radovan Karadzic and Charles Taylor before them, their actions risk landing them in a jail cell.

Separately, Dominic Raab will meet with ambassadors from various countries to build a coalition that can provide further assistance and cooperation to the Office of the Prosecutor in investigating war crimes in Ukraine.

The UK has a long history of supporting war crimes prosecutions, from Nuremberg to the Yugoslav courts in the 1990s and was one of the founding members of the ICC.

The offer ranges from police and military analysis to specialized IT to help ICC collecting and preserving evidence, as well as the UK’s significant legal expertise. This could eventually lead to the relocation of witnesses and the imprisonment of those found guilty, as the UK has done for past war crimes.

Separately, last week Attorney General Suella Braverman signed a statement with the Attorney General of Ukraine reaffirming the UK’s support for holding Russia accountable for war crimes committed in Ukraine.

The Deputy Prime Minister was the FCDOresponsible for war crimes at the British Embassy in The Hague, in liaison with the ICC from 2003 to 2006, supporting the prosecution of war crimes. In that role, he brokered deals that have since allowed witnesses to be moved to safety in the UK and those convicted to serve their sentences in UK prisons, including Radovan Karadžić, who was convicted of genocide. in Bosnia by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in 2016.

He is leading a task force of ministers, senior civil servants and operational partners such as the police and the Crown Prosecution Service to determine how the UK can best support the ICC prosecute war crimes in Ukraine.

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