Prosecutor Karim Khan vowed to open the investigation "as rapidly as possible" as Vladimir Putin continues to launch his onslaught against Ukraine.
Prosecutor Karim Khan vowed to open the investigation “as rapidly as possible” as Vladimir Putin continues to launch his onslaught against Ukraine. Mr Khan said yesterday: “I wish to announce that I have decided to proceed with opening an investigation into the Situation in Ukraine, as rapidly as possible.”
He added: “I am satisfied that there is a reasonable basis to believe that both alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in Ukraine in relation to the events already assessed during the preliminary examination by the Office.
“Given the expansion of the conflict in recent days, it is my intention that this investigation will also encompass any new alleged crimes falling within the jurisdiction of my Office that are committed by any party to the conflict on any part of the territory of Ukraine.”
Neither Russia nor Ukraine are among the court’s 123 member states, however, Kyiv has accepted the International Criminal Court’s jurisdiction, which enables Mr Khan to investigate the matter further.
However, Mr Khan must wait for the court’s judges to grant authorisation before he proceeds with any investigation.
JUST IN: ‘He would!’ Trump’s ex-national security advisor warns Putin could use nuclear weapons
Mr Khan has not yet asked judges for permission.
However, he has claimed he wanted to do this and hopes to widen his investigation to include crimes committed since the invasion.
More than 100 civilians are believed to have been killed in the invasion, according to the United Nations’ human rights chief Michelle Bachelet.
But Ms Bachelet said these numbers could be an undercount.
READ MORE: Russian military convoy stretches 40-miles as Putin’s troops set sights on Kyiv
They looked into the violent suppression of pro-European protests in Kyiv back in 2013 and 2014.
The court also investigated allegations of crimes in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.
Ex-prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said in December 2020 that there had been a “broad range of conduct constituting war crimes and crimes against humanity”.