General

UK joins alliance to hold Russia accountable for war in Ukraine

The British government says London will play a leading role in a core group of likeminded partners to pursue criminal accountability for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly announced on Friday.

A written statement released by the Foreign Office said along with other countries invited by Ukraine, the group will assess the feasibility of a new “hybrid” tribunal, a specialized court integrated into Ukraine’s national justice system with international elements.

The UK encourages other Group of Seven partners to join the core group.

“These atrocities must not go unpunished. That’s why the UK has accepted Ukraine’s invitation to join this coalition, bringing our legal expertise to the table to explore options to ensure Russia’s leaders are held to account fully for their actions,” Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said.

In March 2022, the UK led efforts to refer the situation in Ukraine to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, which has now secured the support of 42 other countries.

“We have also provided £1 million ($1.2 million) of UK funding for the International Criminal Court to increase its collection of evidence capacity and provide enhanced psychosocial support to witnesses and survivors. Looking ahead, in March 2023 the UK and Netherlands will co-host an international meeting of Justice Ministers in London to encourage more practical support for the ICC’s work,” the Foreign Office said.

The UK has also co-founded the Atrocity Crimes Advisory Group (ACA) with the US and the EU to directly support the War Crimes Units of the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine in its investigations.

Through the ACA, the UK has funded a £2.5 million package of assistance including training for more than 90 Ukrainian judges, the deployment of mobile justice teams to the scene of potential war crimes, forensic evidence gathering, and support from UK experts in sexual violence in conflict.

The UK will host a major international meeting on International Criminal Court investigations in March, co-hosted by Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab and Dutch Justice and Security Minister Dilan Yesilgoz-Zegerius.

Source: Anadolu Agency