News of Karim Khan’s involvement in the Polish-Ukrainian-Lithuanian probe was unveiled by Poland’s Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro on Monday.
‘An important moment’
Ziobro told a briefing in Warsaw: “The ICC’s independent prosecutor, Mr. Khan, has decided to join our investigation.”
The Polish justice minister hailed this as “an important moment,” adding that “the ICC’s international standing opens up big possibilities in terms of organisational and evidentiary support for the probe.”
Probe by Poland, Ukraine and Lithuania
Ziobro said that the investigation was officially launched on March 25 by Poland, Ukraine and Lithuania, a month after Vladimir Putin’s forces invaded Poland’s eastern neighbour.
He reiterated his plea for other countries to join the probe, Polish state news agency PAP reported.
He told the media that wider support for the investigation would signal “the unity of the international community in the face of Russian crimes in Ukraine.”
The Polish-Ukrainian-Lithuanian effort has the support of the European Union’s criminal justice cooperation agency, Eurojust, officials told reporters.
'Mass atrocities were committed in areas occupied by Russian forces'
Outlining the progress of the probe, Ziobro said: “The evidence gathered to date permits no doubt that mass atrocities were committed in areas occupied by Russian forces, and that these were fully premeditated, deliberate acts.”
The justice minister noted that Polish prosecutors were one of the first to investigate Russia’s atrocities, by collecting testimonies from war refugees at Ukraine’s request.
“So far, we have interviewed around 1,000 people,” he told reporters.
Meanwhile, Ukraine has launched a special website that gathers photos and video footage of Russia’s war crimes on its soil, the PAP news agency reported.
The Hague-based International Criminal Court last month opened its own probe into possible war crimes committed in Ukraine, following a request from 39 of the court's member states.
Monday was day 61 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Source: IAR, PAP, eurojust.europa.eu