The International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Karim A.A. Khan QC has announced the deployment of a forensics and investigative team to Ukraine.
The team of 42 investigators, forensic experts and support personnel will advance investigations into crimes falling into the jurisdiction of the ICC and provide support to Ukrainian national authorities. This represents the largest ever single field deployment by the Prosecutor’s office since its establishment.
“I wish to express my sincere appreciation to the Government of the Netherlands whose strong cooperation in recent weeks has facilitated the secondment of a significant number of Dutch national experts to my Office in support of this mission,” Khan said. “This collaboration will significantly enhance the impact of our forensic and investigative actions on the ground. In real terms, it will allow us to collect more testimonial accounts, support the identification of relevant forensic and digital materials and ensure that information and evidence is collected in a manner that strengthens its admissibility in future proceedings before the ICC.”
The team will expand lead development and collect testimonial accounts relevant to military attacks that may constitute Rome Statute crimes. Through close cooperation with the Ukrainian authorities, ICC’s forensic experts will map the existing action of national crime scene investigators in order to trace workflows and strengthen the chain of custody with respect to hard evidence.
“It is essential that the work of all actors seeking to support accountability efforts in Ukraine benefit from effective coordination and communication,” Khan continued. “In doing so, we will significantly strengthen the impact of our collective work in establishing the truth. Reflecting this, the team deployed by my Office today will also engage with a team of French forensic experts on the ground in Ukraine in order to ensure continuity and continuation of their work with respect to the identification of remains, ballistics analysis and the storage and preservation of forensic evidence. We will also be engaging with teams deployed by other States in Ukraine in order to comprehensively map existing activities and strengthen coordination across all actors. It is my intention to ensure that this collaborative work is then continued through the consistent presence of my Office on the ground.”
The Prosecutor confirmed that 21 States have now indicated their willingness to second national experts in support of the work, while 20 States have committed to provide financial contributions.