Can Vladimir Putin be charged with war crimes because of the invasion of Ukraine?

Can Vladimir Putin be charged with war crimes because of the invasion of Ukraine?

Can Vladimir Putin be charged with war crimes? Russia’s leader to be investigated for invading Ukraine as aversion to atrocities grows worldwide

  • Lawyers from the International Criminal Court have revealed that they are preparing for a full investigation
  • Boris Johnson said evidence of war crimes would be collected and used
  • Justice Minister Dominique Raab urges Russian commanders not to obey orders that violate international law

Vladimir Putin faces a war crimes tribunal, international prosecutors said last night as global aversion to his atrocities grew.

Lawyers from the International Criminal Court have revealed that they are preparing for a full investigation “as soon as possible”.

Boris Johnson he said: “There is no doubt about that [Putin] already using barbaric tactics, bombing civilian areas.

“I’ve seen reports of cluster bombs and thermobaric weapons.”

“Everyone involved in the Russian offensive must understand that all this will be gathered as evidence that will be used in the future in what may be proceedings before the International Criminal Court.”

Can Vladimir Putin be charged with war crimes because of the invasion of Ukraine?

Vladimir Putin faces war crimes trials, international prosecutors said last night as global aversion to his atrocities grows

Speaking during a visit to Poland yesterday, he added that the Russian president had decided to “send rockets into towers to kill children, as we see in increasing numbers.”

Justice Minister Dominique Raab called on Russian commanders not to obey orders that violate international law, adding: “There will be no impunity for war crimes.

“There is a clear determination from the international community to ensure that all war crimes are held accountable, whether it is Putin or the people around him in Moscow or commanders on the ground.

“They need to know that if they carry out these orders, there is a reasonable prospect … that they will end up spending their twilight years behind bars.”

Mr Raab, a former lawyer with the Foreign Ministry, has previously worked at the International Criminal Court in the Netherlands, helping to bring war criminals to justice.

Asked if Putin could stand trial at the International Criminal Court, Mr Raab said: “We will not allow those responsible to just wait and hope that international attention will shift elsewhere.

“We just showed it with Radovan Karadzic, one of the butchers in the Balkans. Years later, he found himself on trial in The Hague, and now he is in a British prison with a high degree of security, where he will spend his days.

The United States is also investigating whether Russia has committed war crimes, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, citing “reports that are appalling barbaric tactics, whether they are cluster bombs or other tactics we have seen that can be classified as war crime ‘.

Lawyers from the International Criminal Court have revealed that they are preparing for a full investigation

Lawyers from the International Criminal Court have revealed that they are preparing for a full investigation “as soon as possible”. Boris Johnson said: “There is no doubt about that [Putin] already using barbaric tactics, bombing civilian areas. I’ve seen reports of cluster bombs and thermobaric weapons.

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Cowney said there was “indisputable evidence” of war crimes in Ukraine and Canada should ask the ICC to act.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said: “Russian forces brutally shelled Kharkiv with rocket artillery. It was obviously a war crime.

“Kharkov is calm, there are quiet residential areas, no military facilities. Dozens of eyewitness accounts prove that this is not a single fake volley, but the deliberate destruction of people.

“The Russians knew where they were shooting.

“There will definitely be an international tribunal for this crime – it is a violation of all conventions. No one in the world will forgive you for killing a peaceful Ukrainian people.

The chief prosecutor of the ICC, British lawyer Karim Khan, said he expected a full investigation as soon as possible.

A report by the ICC, published a little over a year ago, found that “behavior that constitutes war crimes and crimes against humanity” related to Russia’s actions in Ukraine since 2013.

“There is a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes and crimes against humanity were committed in connection with events assessed during the preliminary inspection,” he said.

“Given the escalation of the conflict, my intention is for this investigation to cover all new alleged crimes.”

Questions and Answers

What accusations can Putin face?

Indiscriminate attacks on civilians would be a war crime, as would civilian buildings such as schools and hospitals.

Cluster munitions are widely banned because they are indiscriminate. Russia has been accused of using them against a preschool in northeastern Ukraine.

It is also alleged that Russia used a thermobaric weapon known as a vacuum bomb, which is also indiscriminate.

Oleg Sinegubov, the governor of Kharkiv, said Russia was “using weapons banned by all international conventions”, including cluster bombs.

What did Russia say?

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov insisted yesterday that Russia had not struck at civilians, and said reports of cluster munitions and vacuum bombs had been fabricated.

Where can a trial take place?

The most likely place is the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Established in 2002 by a treaty called the Rome Statute, it prosecutes war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

What did the ICC say?

Attorney General Karim Khan, a British lawyer, said he would launch an investigation “as soon as possible”. The ICC has been monitoring Ukraine since 2014 following Russian actions there.

Can Putin be tried in his absence?

The ICC has never done this. Its rules state: “The accused must be present during the trial.”

Can an ICC investigation harm Putin?

it will become more of a global pariah and could face arrest outside Russia.

What penalties can the ICC impose?

In 2016, former Bosnian Serb politician Radovan Karadzic was found guilty of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

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