The International Centre for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine (ICPA) started its operations in the Hague on July 3, hosted by the European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation (Eurojust), according to a statement posted on the website of the European External Action Service.
The newly established centre will be key to investigate Russia’s crime of aggression against Ukraine and facilitate case building for future trials, the statement said.
It will provide a structure to support and enhance ongoing and future investigations into the crime of aggression and contribute to the exchange and analysis of evidence gathered since the start of the Russian aggression.
The centre, set up with the European Commission’s support, is composed of selected national prosecutors that are already participating in the Joint Investigation Team, to which the centre is linked in its operations.
The statement said that the participating experts will be able to work together daily, exchange evidence quickly, and agree on a common strategy.
Eurojust will provide operational, legal, financial, and logistical support, including for preserving, storing, and analysing evidence.
This work is essential to prepare for future trials, be it before national or international courts, including a possible tribunal for the crime of aggression or the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes within its jurisdiction, the statement said.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues to bring unspeakable horrors, every day.
“Deeply worrying news about deliberate attacks against civilians, including children, have become a cruel daily reminder of the bloodshed that Putin brought back to our continent. Evidence of countless international crimes committed by Russia is piling up,” Von der Leyen said.
“The new international prosecution centre will play a key role in making sure that the perpetrators are brought to justice, including for the crime of aggression. We will leave no stone unturned to hold Putin and his henchmen accountable.”
Eurojust will work closely with the Commission and the members of the Joint Investigation Team to ensure that the centre can provide the best possible support to national authorities, the statement said.
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