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New body for investigating Russian crime of aggression opens office in The Hague

by Martin Fornusek July 3, 2023 1:34 PM 2 min read
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The International Center for the Prosecution of Crimes of Aggression against Ukraine (ICPA) opened an office in The Hague, the European Commission announced on July 3.

The center's office in the Dutch city is set up with the Commission's support and hosted by Eurojust, the EU's judicial agency.

"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," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.

"The new international prosecution center will play a key role in making sure that the perpetrators are brought to justice, including for the crime of aggression."

The ICPA, backed by the EU in March, is made up of prosecutors from Ukraine, the EU, the U.S., and the International Criminal Court (ICC). Its goal is to collect evidence in the first step to the creation of a tribunal over the Russian leadership.

The purpose of the special tribunal is to investigate Russian aggression as a whole, as the ICC has the mandate to only investigate individual cases of war crimes, according to Agence France Presse.

The current count of investigations into Russian crimes opened in Ukraine, several EU member states, and the International Criminal Court has mounted to 90,000 since Russia unleashed its full-scale invasion in late February last year.

Ukraine has been calling for the establishment of the tribunal since the first few days of Russia's full-scale war. The demands grew more pressing after the uncovering of Russian massacres against civilians in Kyiv's suburb Bucha and elsewhere.

By May, the number of countries backing the establishment of the special tribunal had grown to 37.

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