IBA 2023: Ukraine seeking watertight ‘evidentiary base’ for genocide charge

Law Soc Gazette..

Ukrainian prosecutors are continuing to build a full ‘evidentiary base’ for charging Russia with the crime of genocide, Ukraine’s prosecutor general Andriy Kostin told the International Bar Association in Paris on Monday.

‘First of all, we have a group of prosecutors who are specialised in the investigation and prosecution of these crimes,’ Kostin told a packed lunchtime event. ‘We won a court case against a Russian propagandist publicly calling for the killing of Ukrainian children. But this is only the beginning. We all understand that in order to have a strong case at an international level, we need first to be open in order not to limit ourselves to the two previous cases of genocide which ended in conviction [Rwanda and Srebrenica].’

He added: ‘We have no right to lose this case – therefore, our evidentiary base should be stronger than we believe it should be.’

Ukraine is not a signatory to the Rome statute, which established the International Criminal Court. Russia has been accused of crimes against humanity in Ukraine and an arrest warrant issued for President Vladimir Putin. But neither country is a member of the ICC and there are limits on how the court can proceed.

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