EU to move fast on investigating Russian war crimes, official says
Eurojust and the Joint Investigation Team intend to bring to court this year cases concerning crimes in Mariupol and Bucha, as well as other episodes involving mass graves and gross human rights violations. (Photo:Eurojust)
EU’s criminal justice agency Eurojust and a joint investigation team are focusing on collecting evidence of Russian war crimes in Ukraine, before handing the cases to the courts “within months,” President of Eurojust, Ladislav Hamran, said in an interview with NV on March 10.
Hamran believes the cases will be transferred to the court system within several months, not years.
The first stage is to interview victims and witnesses, according to high legal standards. Also, digital evidence such as videos, photos etc. should be analyzed and stored, Hamran explained.
The second stage is the analysis of the information to decide on the prosecution strategy.
“We're speaking now about thousands of pieces of evidence,” the official said.
“We want to pick the strongest cases out that could bring success in court. And, of course, we won't wait for ages. Our strategy is to make strong cases to transfer them to national courts. That's why I estimate that it will happen in the next few months, not years.”
According to him, investigators should be focusing their efforts on the most serious and gross violations of international law during Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
"It is worth considering the cases of Mariupol, Bucha, and others where mass burials were found, as well as the cases of gross violation of human rights and dignity," Hamran added.
Eurojust is an EU agency dealing with judicial and police bodies of EU member states. It backs an international investigation of the Russian war crimes. In particular, Eurojust has set up a Core International Crimes Database (CICED) to collect and store evidence on war crimes committed in Ukraine.
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