Von Der Leyen announces agreement on prosecuting Russia for war crimes

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DPA – At an international conference in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv this weekend, an important first step is to be taken to hold Russia accountable for war crimes.

The agreement on the establishment of a new International Centre for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression (ICPA) will be signed at the conference, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced on Saturday morning. It is to secure evidence for future legal proceedings and will be located at the site of the European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation, or Eurojust, in The Hague.

Von Der Leyen said that Russia and President Vladimir Putin must be held accountable for the terrible crimes against Ukraine, von der Leyen said in a video message. There is growing evidence of direct attacks on the civilian population as well as on energy supplies and other infrastructure.

“Torture, ill-treatment, sexual violence, and summary executions are known to have been committed by Russian forces. Not even children are being spared,” von der Leyen said. “We must do everything in our power to bring the perpetrators to justice,” von der Leyen said. The EU supports the role of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in this. However, the EU also believes that there must be a separate court to prosecute the Russian crime of aggression, she added.

Given that Russia does not recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC, the court cannot take action for crimes committed by the country, the European Commission said. Therefore, the establishment of several other options is now being discussed. The ICPA is a first step in this process to secure evidence for future trials, the commission wrote.

dpa – aNews

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