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German prosecutors launch probe into Ukraine war crimes – Expat Guide to Germany

Germany’s federal prosecutor has opened a probe into suspected struggle crimes by Russian troops because the invasion of Ukraine, authorities mentioned Tuesday, amid worldwide outrage over assaults on civilians and significant infrastructure.

“We will collect and secure all evidence of war crimes,” Justice Minister Marco Buschmann advised the Passauer Neue Presse newspaper.

Germany’s federal prosecution workplace in Karlsruhe has opened a so-called structural investigation to start amassing proof, he mentioned.

A supply within the workplace confirmed to AFP {that a} probe had been opened.

Russia’s assault on Ukraine is “a serious violation of international law that cannot be justified by anything,” Buschmann added.

“Possible violations of international criminal law must be consistently prosecuted.”

A structural investigation doesn’t goal explicit suspects, however goals to collect proof of the suspected crimes and determine the constructions behind them, such because the chain of command.

The proof can then be utilized in future legal proceedings towards particular person suspects.

Der Spiegel weekly reported that German prosecutors had been spurred into motion by experiences of the usage of cluster bombs by Russia, in addition to pictures of residential areas being focused, and assaults on a gasoline pipeline, a nuclear waste dump and an influence plant.

Russia has come underneath intense criticism for its assault on Ukrainian cities, in operations that Kyiv and Western governments say have included assaults on colleges, hospitals and residential blocks.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned on Sunday that Washington has seen “very credible reports” that Russia has dedicated struggle crimes throughout its invasion of Ukraine.

The chief prosecutor of the Worldwide Felony Court docket in The Hague already introduced final week that he was going forward with an investigation into alleged struggle crimes and crimes towards humanity dedicated in Ukraine since Moscow’s invasion.

Germany has previously repeatedly prosecuted atrocities dedicated overseas, together with the struggle in Syria.

It does so utilizing the authorized precept of common jurisdiction — which permits nations to attempt folks for crimes of remarkable gravity, together with struggle crimes and genocide, even when they had been dedicated in a distinct nation.

A German court docket in January sentenced a former Syrian colonel to life in jail for overseeing the homicide of 27 folks and the torture of 4,000 others at a Damascus detention centre a decade in the past.

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