Specialist UK police and legal team to support ICC war crimes investigation

A specialist team of UK police officers and legal experts is being drafted in to support the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) investigation into alleged war crimes in Ukraine.

Jun 6, 2022
By Paul Jacques
Picture: Friemann/Shutterstock

This will include a dedicated Metropolitan Police (MPS) officer stationed in the Hague to provide the ICC with swift access to British police and military expertise.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said seven UK lawyers “well experienced in international criminal law” have also been offered to help uncover evidence and prosecute those responsible for war crimes.

In addition, officers from MPS Counter Terrorism Unit will continue to provide forensic and technical capabilities, such as biometrics and examination of digital devices, as evidence is gathered from potential witnesses in the UK.

Deputy Prime Minister, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Dominic Raab, said “The UK has responded swiftly to a request from the ICC for more police and lawyers to aid their investigation into Russian war crimes in Ukraine.

“Russian forces should know that they will be held to account for their actions and the global community will work together to ensure justice is served.”

The Attorney General, Suella Braverman QC, added: “Following my appointment of war crimes expert Sir Howard Morrison as an independent adviser to the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office, I am determined that British expertise continues to be available to our friends in Ukraine in their search for justice.

“We will stand side by side as they uncover the truth and hold those responsible in Putin’s regime to account for their actions.”

The latest support is on top of the £1 million funding provided earlier this year and the full package includes:

  • A police liaison officer based in The Hague to lead on swift information sharing between the UK and the ICC;
  • Two police officers with expertise in collection of intelligence through publicly available data sources;
  • Offer of seven legal experts to support the ICC investigation with expertise in international criminal law and the handling of evidence to be presented to court;
  • Ongoing defence analysis and monitoring of events in Ukraine, including preservation of any evidence relating to war crimes; and
  • Delivery of bespoke war crimes investigation training to Ukrainian police on behalf of the ICC, in collaboration with the Norwegian Police.

The MoJ said it is also “accelerating conversations” with City law firms and barristers to prepare for deployment at the appropriate stage of the investigation.

Earlier this month, the Attorney General visited Ukraine and led a delegation of war crimes experts to the region to support the work of the Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova.

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