War criminals won't be safe in countries initiating intl probe – Lithuanian minister

  • 2022-04-28
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – War criminals will not be safe in countries that have decided to contribute to the initiation of an investigation into Russia's war crimes in Ukraine, Lithuanian Justice Minister Evelina Dobrovolska said on Thursday. 

"States' joining of Lithuania's appeal to make the investigation as broad as possible means that they are in fact implicitly guaranteeing that these criminals will not be safe in their territories," the minister told the Ziniu Radijas radio station. "They will certainly be detained if necessary and for the purpose of the administration of justice." 

More than 40 countries around the world have joined Lithuania's call to investigate Russian war crimes in Ukraine.

As hostilities and potential crimes are still ongoing, the situation around the investigation is "very dynamic", according to Dobrovolska. 

In the minister's words, it is very important that the International Criminal Court's prosecutor has joined the joint investigation team on alleged core international crimes committed in Ukraine, set up by Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine with Eurojust support.  

"In other words, we have a consolidated force," she said.

Lithuania was the first country to ask the ICC prosecutor to open an investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Russia and Belarus.