The International Center for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine opens
The International Center for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine (ICPA, in its acronym in English) was presented this Monday in The Hague (Netherlands), where it is based. Its function is to centralize and analyze evidence of the Russian invasion of the neighboring country so that those responsible do not go unpunished. It is also the first aggression of this type investigated in Europe since the Second World War, and with the material collected we will try to build a case that can be brought to court. “It is an effort that could be used to organize compensation for the damage caused,” said Didier Reynders, European Commissioner for Justice.
During the presentation of the ICPA, Andriy Kostin, the Ukrainian attorney general, assured that the war in Ukraine “threaten its very existence as a country, but it is also a challenge for world peace and security”. “There is no peace without justice that reaches all those who have questioned the stability and function of international justice,” he said.
The work of the center is part of the work carried out by the Joint Investigation Group (JIT) coordinated by Eurojust – the European agency for judicial cooperation – which already collects evidence of crimes committed in Ukraine. Lithuania, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia, Romania and Ukraine itself are part of the SIC.
Russia is not a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the only permanent body to try genocidal and war crimes and crimes against humanity, as well as the crime of aggression. Therefore, its judges cannot prosecute the root causes of this war. Ukraine is not a member of the International Criminal Court either, but it has recognized its competence to investigate what happened since the February 2022 invasion. Ukrainian prosecutors have already opened their cases nationwide and have this data: 93,000 complaints of war crimes, 347 suspects, 207 charges and 53 convictions. As for the main perpetrators of the invasion, Kostin named 600 people suspected, 312 charged and 12 convicted. In this second block, all court proceedings were held in the absence of the indicated ones, being in Russia.
The new center will operate with the cooperation of the International Criminal Court and the support of the United States Attorney’s Office, which is not a member state of the ICC. Kenneth A. Polite Junior, assistant U.S. attorney, indicated that his country has already shared its first data.
Ukraine supports the creation of a special court to try those responsible for the attack, an idea supported by most EU countries, the United Kingdom and the United States.