Eurojust allowed to process and store evidence of Russian war crimes in Ukraine

According to Ukrinform, this information was made public on website of the European Council.

“In order to ensure accountability for crimes committed in Ukraine, the Council of the EU has adopted new rules allowing Eurojust to accumulate, analyze and store evidence relating to serious international crimes, including war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide,” the report says.

As noted, the new rules will allow the Eurojust Agency to accumulate and store evidence of war crimes, including satellite images, photographs, video and audio recordings, DNA indicators and fingerprints.

Eurojust can process and analyze this evidence in close cooperation with Europol and by providing such information to the relevant national and international legal structures, including the International Criminal Court (ICC).

He notes that since the beginning of Russia’s aggressive war against Ukraine, numerous reports from Ukraine point to crimes against humanity and war crimes that have already been committed and continue to be committed in Ukraine.

At the beginning of March 2022, all EU member states, together with international partners, decided to collectively submit the situation in Ukraine to the ICC. The EU Council of Ministers for Justice and Home Affairs, during a meeting on March 4, instructed Eurojust to take on the function of coordinator and provide appropriate assistance to the ICC prosecutor.

“In addition to the investigation of the ICC prosecutor, the Prosecutor General of Ukraine opened an investigation, which was also carried out by representatives of the authorities of several member states. A Joint Investigation Group was established, which included judicial representatives from Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine, with the support of Eurojust and with the participation of the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC, which were soon joined by the judicial institutions of Slovakia, Latvia and Estonia.

It is noted that the coordination and exchange of information between different competent authorities is important to ensure the effectiveness of such an investigation. In addition, given the continued hostilities in Ukraine and the risks to the safe storage of evidence relating to war crimes or crimes against humanity on its territory, it is advisable to establish a central repository to store such evidence in a secure location.

New rules expanding the powers of Eurojust to participate in the investigation of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the dirty Russian aggression against Ukraine should be officially signed in the European Parliament and the Council of the EU on 30 May. They will then be published in the Official Journal of the EU and will take effect from the moment they are published.

As reported, the European Union, the United States of America and the United Kingdom on May 25 announced the formation of the Atrocity Crime Advisory Panel (ACA) to assist the Attorney General’s Office in investigating war crimes committed by Russia in Ukraine.

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