War crimes among priorities of Czech EU presidency

The International Criminal Court and law enforcement bodies from 11 EU member states are already investigating suspected violations of international law in Ukraine, the European Commission informed. Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war are among the primary sources of evidence. [Shutterstock/Evgeniya Uvarova]

The investigation and prosecution of war crimes will be among the topics of the Czech EU Council presidency in the second half of 2022, Justice Minister Pavel Blazek (ODS, ECR) has said.

Blažek is heading to Hague within the next two weeks to discuss joint steps in prosecuting war crimes committed by Russian troops in Ukraine.

“It is decisive to agree on joint steps on the international level, on what particular countries and the International Criminal Court in the Hague will do,” Blažek said on Wednesday (4 May), adding that this would prevent possible duplication of prosecution.

“The current situation in the world has disturbed all planned topics. War crimes in Ukraine will be one of the tasks of justice at the European and higher levels. It will undoubtedly become one of the topics of our (EU Council) presidency,” said Blažek as quoted by the Czech News Agency.

The International Criminal Court and law enforcement bodies from 11 EU member states are already investigating suspected violations of international law in Ukraine, the European Commission informed. Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war are among the primary sources of evidence.

Investigations are also taking place on-site, in Ukraine. In mid-April, the Ukrainian prosecutor general said Kyiv was investigating 6,000 war crimes in areas from where Russian troops withdrew.

The European Commission also wants to boost the EU’s ability to investigate war crimes. It has already proposed an amendment to the Eurojust Regulation to enhance its ability to collect, preserve and share evidence on war crimes.

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