EU criminal justice group joins investigation of core crimes in Ukraine
© WikiMedia (Eurojust)
EU criminal justice group joins investigation of core crimes in Ukraine

The European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation, Eurojust, Monday announced it would support a joint investigation into Russia’s alleged international crimes committed in Ukraine. The joint investigation team, including Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine, hopes to exchange information and facilitate the investigation.

Eurojust is a multinational agency that brings together national authorities from the EU and third states to investigate and prosecute transnational crime. Eurojust works closely with EU agencies to support criminal prosecutions at every level. Its main role is to facilitate coordination and cooperation in multinational investigations and prosecutions.

Eurojust seeks to provide the three-state joint investigation team with operational, analytical, legal and financial assistance. The joint investigation team arose from a March 2 meeting between 31 countries and Eurojust representatives. On March 25, the Prosecutor General of Lithuania, the Polish Minister of Justice and Prosecutor General and the Ukrainian Prosecutor General signed an agreement to form a joint investigation team.

The goal of the joint investigation team is to facilitate the collection and exchange of information and evidence related to alleged core crimes in Ukraine since the Russian invasion on February 24. The core crimes include genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes of aggression pursuant to Article 5 of the Rome Statute.

In a statement, Eurojust said participation in the joint investigation team is extended to other EU members, third countries or third parties. Moving forward, Eurojust said the joint investigation team hopes to facilitate and support cooperation between the International Criminal Court (ICC) and Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine. On February 28, the ICC opened an investigation into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Ukraine. That investigation is still ongoing.