On his trip to Washington DC Maksym Skrypchenko had a fruitful meeting with David Mandel-Anthony, Acting Director of Office of Global Criminal Justice at U.S. Department of State.
Mr Skrypchenko covered the need of setting up a Special Tribunal for the punishment of Russia’s top political and military leadership for committing the crime of aggression against Ukraine. He highlighted that not only state responsibility for the war should be addressed, but also the responsibility of certain individuals primarily involved in the decision-making process. They might have not participated in the war crimes on-site, so their involvement is indirect, but they still hold the same responsibility as the crime’s immediate perpetrator. Bringing such individuals to justice is one of the numerous components necessary for the restoration of peace and stability in Europe.
It was also underlined that the establishment of a Special Tribunal for the Crime of Aggression will not in any way impede further investigation of alleged genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Ukraine by the International Criminal Court. The ICC remains a key body of international criminal justice, and Ukraine is actively cooperating with the ICC. However, the ICC cannot investigate and prosecute individuals for the crime of aggression against Ukraine unless both states ratify the Rome Statute and the Kampala Amendments on the crime of aggression. That is why the establishment of the Special Tribunal for the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine will not affect the jurisdiction of the ICC, but will only complement its important work with its jurisdiction over prosecuting senior political and military leadership of the Russian Federation for the crime of aggression against Ukraine.