International Criminal Court prosecutor to investigate alleged war crimes in Ukraine

Cars were destroyed by shelling in Kyiv outskirts, on Feb 28, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

AMSTERDAM (REUTERS) - The office of the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court on Monday (Feb 28) said it will seek court approval to open an investigation into alleged war crimes in Ukraine.

The move comes just days after Russia's invasion of its neighbour and prosecutor Karim Khan said on Friday that the court could investigate alleged crimes arising from the fighting.

Khan said the investigation will look into alleged violations dating back to 2014, when Ukraine recognised the court's jurisdiction.

Although neither Russia nor Ukraine are members of the court in The Hague, Ukraine gave it authorisation over war crimes and crimes against humanity, following Moscow's annexation of Crimea.

"There is a reasonable basis to proceed with opening an investigation," the statement said.

"In particular, I am satisfied that there is a reasonable basis to believe that both alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in Ukraine."

"Given the expansion of the conflict in recent days, it is my intention that this investigation will also encompass any new alleged crimes falling within the jurisdiction of my Office that are committed by any party to the conflict on any part of the territory of Ukraine," it said.

The prosecutor will have to first obtain authorisation from a pre-trial chamber of the court.

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