Top Russian officials need to be stripped of legal immunity before tribunal, says Kuleba

7 March, 11:13 AM
Dmytro Kuleba (Photo:REUTERS/David Dee Delgado)

Dmytro Kuleba (Photo:REUTERS/David Dee Delgado)

Ukraine sees the main goal of the special tribunal on Russian war crimes is to resolve the issue of immunity from prosecution under international law of the “trinity” of Russia’s top leadership, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Ukrainian national television on March 6.

Ukraine is calling for the creation of a special tribunal to bring to justice those guilty of the crime of Russian aggression against Ukraine. The creation of the tribunal was supported by the European Parliament and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, which have both passed resolutions on the matter.

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“They (the joint investigative group) should make progress on the issue of the form of the tribunal and on the issue of immunities of (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s as head of state, and of the prime minister and minister of foreign affairs,” Kuleba said.

He said that “in international law, all countries have such a trio, who enjoy complete immunity from prosecution.”

“And our goal is to definitely solve this issue of immunities,” Kuleba said.

“Legally, it’s possible, but it is like a ‘delicate neurosurgical operation,’” to create the legal conditions for the tribunal to operate, he said.

He also added that 30 countries already support the creation of a special tribunal for Russia for the crime of aggression. On March 6, Greece joined. On March 4, there were 29 such countries.

According to him, joining such a group means agreeing to the need to create a separate special tribunal to prosecute Russia for the crime of aggression. Its task is to work out legal ways to create a tribunal and resolve legal issues.

On March 3, the United for Justice conference (described as a “legal Ramstein”) was held in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv. It was attended by representatives of European institutions, general prosecutors and ministers of justice of various countries, the president of Latvia, the deputy prime minister of the Netherlands, the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, and others. The conference was dedicated to restoring justice for Ukraine.

On April 2, 2022, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan, announced the immediate start of the investigation into the situation in Ukraine following the appeal of 39 member states of the ICC.

Kuleba previously said that a special tribunal is, in fact, the only way to prosecute the highest political and military leadership of Russia for the crime of aggression against Ukraine.

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