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EU strengthens Eurojust role on war crimes

09 May 2022, 23:04 CET
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EU strengthens Eurojust role on war crimes

Eurojust building - Photo by Eurojust

(BRUSSELS) - EU states adopted a mandate Friday on new rules which will allow the judicial cooperation agency Eurojust to preserve, analyse and store evidence relating to core international crimes, such as war crimes.

Following Russia's military aggression against Ukraine, the EU Council says "there is a reasonable basis to believe that crimes against humanity and war crimes have been and are being committed in Ukraine".

It adds t hat The EU will take, as a matter of urgency, all necessary measures to ensure that those who committed those crimes in Ukraine are held accountable.

Prosecution services at the International Criminal Court and in several member states, as well as in Ukraine, have started investigations concerning these events.

Coordination and exchange of evidence between prosecuting authorities in different jurisdictions is seen as important to ensure the effectiveness of these investigations.

In addition, due to the ongoing hostilities there is a risk that evidence related to war crimes cannot be safely stored on the territory of Ukraine and therefore it is appropriate to establish a central storage at a safe place.

The draft new rules will allow Eurojust to:

  • store and preserve evidence related to war crimes, including satellite images, photographs, videos, audio recordings, DNA profiles and fingerprints
  • process and analyse this evidence, in close cooperation with Europol, and share it with the relevant national and international authorities, including the International Criminal Court

On the basis of this position, an agreement will now need to be reached with the European Parliament so that this regulation can be adopted and enter into force as soon as possible.


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