As а first step toward building cases against individuals behind Moscow’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, an international center for the prosecution of the crime of aggression opened on Monday in The Hague, The Jerusalem Post reports.
While more than 93,000 reports of war crimes have been reviewed by the Ukrainian authorities, it is expected that the high-level perpetrators will be tried at the world’s permanent war crimes court, the International Criminal Court (ICC), which is also in The Hague.
Around 347 suspects have been charged and 53 were convicted so far by Ukraine’s war crimes unit.
The new International Centre for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression (ICPA) will fill a legal gap for that specific crime and will be working alongside the ICC – which in March issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin – which does not have the jurisdiction to prosecute the alleged crime of aggression due to legal constraints.
According to Ukraine’s top prosecutor, Andriy Kostin, ICPA will collect evidence for possible cases against Russian military and political leaders responsible for the war, with the aim to build cases for future suspects in the tribunal.
Though it’s still unclear under what legal basis that court will be created, Kyiv wants aggression crimes in Ukraine to be heard at a special tribunal, with most European countries and the US supporting the idea.
According to legal experts, this court is expected to target around two dozen top Russian government and military officials.