In order to advance the investigation of war crimes committed in Ukraine, the Foreign Ministry is providing the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) with 100,000 euros. The Ministry of Justice is also sending an additional expert to the ICC to prosecute war crimes even more effectively. Austria supports every step that publicly signals that such war crimes will be outlawed and punished.
The images and reports of Russian war crimes in Butcha, Mariupol and other Ukrainian cities are staggering. Those who committed and commissioned these crimes must be held accountable – there must be no impunity here. With the additional funding, we are helping to ensure that the ICC can quickly and efficiently secure evidence and conduct investigations,
emphasised Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg.
The Austrian contribution is in addition to the annual contribution of over two million euros already made by Austria in January.
Even in war the law applies! By sending an expert from the Justice Department to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, we are making an important contribution to the investigation of war crimes. Everything must now be done to ensure that war criminals are held criminally responsible and that further human suffering is prevented,
said Justice Minister Alma Zadic.
The contribution will be paid to a fund of the ICC, which will be used, among other things, to finance software for the collection, analysis and processing of evidence as well as specific expertise for the psychological assistance of victims and witnesses. Austria will also send an expert from among the judiciary or prosecutors to the Court. In addition, Austria also supports the Commission of Inquiry of the UN Human Rights Council, which has its office in Vienna, as well as the efforts of the OSCE, for example through the expert report published the previous week under the Moscow Mechanism.
Austria joined 40 other states in referring the situation in Ukraine to the ICC on 2 March 2022, whereupon Chief Prosecutor Khan launched an investigation the same day. Khan briefed on the war crimes investigation in Ukraine at the last meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg on 11 April.
The jurisdiction of the ICC, which was established on 1 July 1 2002, by the 1998 Rome Statute as a permanent international criminal court based in The Hague, covers genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and, under certain conditions, the crime of aggression. Currently, 123 states are members of the ICC.