The International Criminal Court in The Hague is planning to open two cases focusing on Russian war crimes in Ukraine, the New York Times reported this week.
One case would focus on the kidnapping of Ukrainian children, the second on the deliberate targeting of civilian infrastructure, the paper said.
Sources told the NYT that the court would shortly ask for several arrests to be made and that Russian president Vladimir Putin could be one of those indited. The ICC does not recognise immunity for heads of state who are implicated in war crimes.
The court itself has not commented on the NYT report, other than to refer to chief prosecutor Karim Khan’s ongoing investigation into war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Ukraine. That investigation was launched a year ago.
Neither Russia nor Ukraine is a signatory to the court’s founding document and the US is not a member of the court either which, the Guardian reported, made actual trials unlikely in the near future.
Last month it emerged that the European Commission is establishing a special office in The Hague to help prosecute Russia for crimes in Ukraine.
The International Center for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression in Ukraine will coordinate the collection of evidence and join the investigation by European crime agency Eurojust.
The Hague, which has dubbed itself the ‘city of peace and justice’ is currently home to International Court of Justice, which is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, as well as the ICC, which prosecutes individuals for crimes against humanity and war crimes.
In addition, the city hosts Eurojust, the EU agency for criminal justice cooperation and Europol, the EU’s law enforcement arm. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia was also located in the city until its closure in 2017.
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