UK offers backing for special tribunal on Russian war crimes

21 January, 12:13 PM
Mass burial of people killed by the Russian invaders (Photo:Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Mass burial of people killed by the Russian invaders (Photo:Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

The United Kingdom has offered to back the creation of a special tribunal capable of bringing to justice Russian civil and military authorities involved in war crimes in Ukraine, including the Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, UK newspaper The Guardian reported on Jan. 20.

The British government accepted Ukraine's invitation to join an international group that is working to create a mechanism to ensure the accountability of Russian officials involved in war crimes against Ukraine, and also called on the G7 countries leaders to pitch in.

"Russia’s war crimes must not go unpunished,” UK foreign secretary James Cleverly said.

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“That is why Britain has accepted Ukraine’s invitation to join this coalition bringing our legal expertise to the table to explore options to ensure Russia’s leaders are held to account.”

However, some UK lawyers fear that the creation of a special tribunal may undermine the credibility of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and its chief prosecutor, Karim Khan, so they have resisted such a proposal.

At the same time, Ukraine’s proposal has the backing of former Labour prime minister Gordon Brown, the newspaper writes. The UK is ready to consider a "hybrid" tribunal establishment as some kind of a “specialized court integrated into Ukrainian justice system with international elements.”

On Jan. 19, the European Parliament approved the resolution on the establishment of a tribunal on the crime of aggression against Ukraine with 472 in favor, 19 noes, and 33 abstentions.

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