ICC prosecutor to proceed with investigation into alleged war crimes in Ukraine

prosecutor Karim Khan said the investigation will look into alleged violations dating back to 2014 when Ukraine recognized the court's jurisdiction.

 Ukraine's ambassador Yevheniia Filipenko speaks at the opening of a session of the UN Human Rights Council, following the Russian invasion in Ukraine, in Geneva, Switzerland February 28, 2022. (photo credit: FABRICE COFFRINI/POOL VIA REUTERS)
Ukraine's ambassador Yevheniia Filipenko speaks at the opening of a session of the UN Human Rights Council, following the Russian invasion in Ukraine, in Geneva, Switzerland February 28, 2022.
(photo credit: FABRICE COFFRINI/POOL VIA REUTERS)

The office of the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court on Monday said it will seek court approval to open an investigation into alleged war crimes in Ukraine.

The move comes just days after Russia's invasion of its neighbor and prosecutor Karim Khan said on Friday that the court could investigate alleged crimes arising from the fighting.

Khan said the investigation will look into alleged violations dating back to 2014 when Ukraine recognized the court's jurisdiction.

Although neither Russia nor Ukraine are members of the court in The Hague, Ukraine gave it authorization over war crimes and crimes against humanity, following Moscow's annexation of Crimea.

"There is a reasonable basis to proceed with opening an investigation," the statement said. "In particular, 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."

 The International Criminal Court building is seen in The Hague, Netherlands, January 16, 2019. (credit: REUTERS/PIROSCHKA VAN DE WOUW) The International Criminal Court building is seen in The Hague, Netherlands, January 16, 2019. (credit: REUTERS/PIROSCHKA VAN DE WOUW)

"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 is committed by any party to the conflict on any part of the territory of Ukraine," it said.

The prosecutor will have to first obtain authorization from a pre-trial chamber of the court.