Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan announced on March 2 about opening an investigation into alleged war crimes in Ukraine.
The move comes following the referral from 38 national governments, days after Russia invaded neighboring nation of over 40 million people. Georgia is among the 38 nations.
Lithuania made a separate coordinated referral to The Hague-based court.
The government of the United Kingdom, which led efforts to the multi-national referral said: “Russia’s use of indiscriminate force against innocent civilians, in its illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, amounts to war crimes, for which the Putin regime must be held accountable.”
Karim Khan announced his intention over seeking authorization from the ICC judges on February 28. The state party referral enabled him to proceed to the investigation without the approval by the justices.
The prosecutor then said his team found a reasonable basis to believe crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court had been committed.
Neither Russia nor Ukraine are the State Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC, but Ukraine accepted the court’s jurisdiction over possible war crimes and crimes against humanity committed on its soil since November 2013.
Currently, 123 nations are State Parties to the ICC.