Berlin, 30 November 2022 (dpa/MIA) – In order to better coordinate their investigations into war crimes committed in Ukraine, the justice ministers of the G7 group of wealthy countries have agreed to set up a point of contact in each nation.
“We all agreed that heinous war crimes are taking place in Ukraine,” German Justice Minister Marco Buschmann said after the ministers’ meeting in Berlin on Tuesday, adding that better cooperation was primarily about securing evidence and avoiding information silos.
Ukrainian law enforcement authorities themselves have already documented almost 50,000 cases of possible war crimes and identified some 600 suspects, he said.
Evidence is already being collected in Germany, too. On the German government website “Germany4Ukraine,” refugees are asked to contact the nearest police station for witness statements on war crimes.
The German judiciary has experience in prosecuting war crimes committed abroad. In January, a court in Koblenz sentenced the former chief interrogator of a Syrian intelligence prison to life in prison.
However, acting heads of state and government can invoke personal immunity from foreign courts, meaning that the Ukrainian government is seeking international support for the establishment of a special international tribunal.
Buschmann also said the targeted destruction of civilian infrastructure by Moscow constituted a war crime. Russian President Vladimir Putin was using the cold as a weapon, he added.