Group working to set up Russia tribunal already amounts 25 states


Twenty-five countries have already joined the Coordination Group, which is working on establishing a special tribunal for Russia’s crimes of aggression.

Head of Ukraine’s Parliamentary Committee on Legal Policy Denys Maslov spoke of this at a briefing at the Media Center Ukraine – Ukrinform on Thursday.

He recalled that as early as at the outset of the full-scale aggression, Ukraine offered to create a special tribunal for the Russian Federation, which is committing crimes against it, “the tribunal that should put the main actors – the higher military and political leadership of the Russian Federation – on trial.”

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“I can say that, while back in the summer, early first half of the summer, many international experts and politicians did not believe in the possibility of creating such a tribunal, today 25 countries have joined the so-called Coordination Group, which is working on the model of such a tribunal. Ukraine offered the world its vision, came out with a proactive position, proposed the draft statute of the tribunal, and a model of its work. We had to make really great efforts, communicating with politicians, undertaking appropriate measures, somewhere persuading, somewhere applying pressure from different countries so that today we have come to the point that the very model of the tribunal and its possible documents are already being discussed,” said the MP.

According to the lawmaker, three models of the special tribunal have been proposed.

“The first model is a tribunal based on the decision of the UN General Assembly where the Secretary General of the United Nations, based on a resolution, can sign an agreement with Ukraine on the creation of such a tribunal. We are satisfied with this model, it was one of our proposals. The second model is a multilateral international treaty open for signature by many countries that share values and believe that global security and world order cannot exist without bringing Kremlin criminals to justice,” Maslov said.

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The third model under discussion, he noted, is “the model of a hybrid tribunal, where a court with separate powers is created in the national judicial system of Ukraine, which includes foreign judges, in order to observe the rules of justice, comprehensive consideration, and they will be able to consider the issue of accountability for crimes of aggression against Ukraine”.

“We have expressed some of our concerns that a national court cannot today disregard the immunity of Putin or Shoigu because national courts cannot prosecute high-ranking officials of a foreign state. We do not want to depart from this position that both Putin and Shoigu and their higher military and political leadership committed a crime against Ukraine, a crime of aggression, and that they should bear responsibility. Therefore, we believe that the first two models are the most correct ones and we will insist that they be implemented,” Maslov stressed.

In order to clarify the time limits of the process of creating an international special tribunal, the parliamentarian noted that there is no clear deadline set yet.

“I always answer: we all want it to have happened yesterday… I don’t have a clear date. I will answer in a slightly different way. In the summer, no one in the international community believed or took seriously the idea of creating a tribunal. Today, 25 countries are already working in this Coordination Group on a specific model and, in the future, on documents regarding the tribunal. The question of whether the tribunal should be created or not does not arise anymore. The question is about a concrete model… That is, if you ask me when the practical implementation will begin, I’d say that it has already begun,” Maslov emphasized.

As reported, President Volodymyr Zelensky created a working group that will explore the issue of creating a special international tribunal to bring to justice those guilty of aggression against Ukraine.

The idea was supported by the PACE, European Parliament, NATO PA, and OSCE.

Kyiv is working on several options for creating a special tribunal. One of them is based on an agreement between Ukraine and the UN, which can adopt a corresponding resolution.

Source: Group working to set up Russia tribunal already amounts 25 states

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