News Europe Eurojust launches its center to collect evidence on Russian aggression against Ukraine

Eurojust launches its center to collect evidence on Russian aggression against Ukraine

Eurojust launches its center to collect evidence on Russian aggression against Ukraine

Building destroyed by a Russian attack in the Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk – Celestino Arce Lavin/Zuma Press / dpa


The International Center for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine (ICPA, for its acronym in English) has formally started its work on Monday as a structure that, from within Eurojust, intends to serve to preserve the evidence of the abuses committed in the framework of the Russian military offensive and contribute to the investigations that may be launched by institutions at the national level.

The center, announced at the beginning of March and based in The Hague, represents for the president of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, a “first step” towards the creation of a court that judges the crime of aggression, a recurring demand Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Thus, the head of the Community Executive has advocated on Twitter for “collecting evidence and documenting the crimes of Russia so that those responsible can be brought to justice.”

The European Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, who has participated in the formal launch, has reiterated the “commitment” of the EU to achieve “full accountability”. “It is a clear signal to the world that the prohibition on the use of force remains the foundation of our rules-based international order and those who violate it must be held accountable,” he warned.

For the president of Eurojust, Ladislav Hamran, it is also “a crucial step” to “end impunity at all levels”, for which he has offered the “operational, technical, logistical and financial” support of the agency that directed to the national prosecutors, with a view to making some progress in specific prosecutions.

In fact, the Ukrainian attorney general, Andriy Kostin, participated in the act, who sees the world as “united” in pointing the finger at Russia but also assumes that there are cracks regarding the prosecution of the crime of aggression within the current global judicial architecture. For this reason, he hopes that the ICPA will serve to “reinforce” this budding architecture.

For his part, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Karim Khan, sees “a light” on the path towards prosecution of abuses committed in Ukraine. “We remain determined to strengthen the foundations of the cooperation that we have built in the last year with Eurojust and the national authorities through the Joint Investigation Team”, he said, referring to another of the initiatives launched to examine the crimes perpetrated since the launch of the Russian military offensive in February 2023.

The ICPA is fully funded by the European Commission and, in its initial phase, is made up of six countries — in addition to Ukraine, there are Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Romania –, with external participation from the CFI. The Government of the United States has also offered to collaborate in the work and the idea is that the project is open to all those countries that can provide relevant information or evidence.



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