Statement by ICC Prosecutor, Karim A.A. Khan QC: Office of the Prosecutor joins national authorities in Joint Investigation Team on international crimes committed in Ukraine
I am pleased to confirm that today my Office has become a participant in the joint investigation team (JIT) on alleged core international crimes committed in Ukraine, joining existing members Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine.
As I have stated since taking up my position as Prosecutor, the effective exercise of the mandate of my Office requires us to deepen cooperation and collaboration with all relevant actors. The Ukraine situation, in particular, demands collective action so as to secure relevant evidence and ultimately ensure its effective use in criminal proceedings.
In recognition of this, my Office takes a landmark step today in joining a JIT under the auspices of Eurojust for the first time.
The JIT aims to facilitate investigations and prosecutions in the concerned states as well as those that could be taken forward before the International Criminal Court ( “ICC” or “the Court”). Through its participation in the JIT, my Office will significantly enhance its ability to access and collect information relevant to our independent investigations. Critically, we will be able to conduct rapid and real time coordination and cooperation with the JIT partner countries.
But as I have underlined to our national counterparts, the participation of my Office in this JIT will not be a one-way street. We do not wish to only be the recipients of information and evidence. We also want to serve as an effective partner with respect to the conduct of domestic proceedings in relation to core international crimes, in line with the principle of complementarity.
In that spirit, my Office will be seeking to identify all opportunities through which it can provide information and evidence to the concerned national authorities in support of their investigations and prosecutions. Reflecting the independent nature of the mandate of my Office, such provision of assistance and information will be carried out on a case-by-case basis and in a manner consistent with the Rome Statute.
I wish to express my sincere thanks to the Prosecutors-General of Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine who joined me today in the signing ceremony to mark the beginning of our collaboration in the JIT. I would also wish to recognize the strong support of Eurojust in facilitating this important step.
Looking ahead, I will continue to seek to deepen our engagement with all actors in relation to the Ukraine situation, in a manner consistent with my mandate as Prosecutor.