New EU proposal aims to aid Ukraine in war crimes investigation

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BRUSSELS – The European Commission proposed on Monday to extend the mandate of the Eurojust agency to help the work of Ukrainian authorities in investigating war crimes.

“The proposed reinforcement will give the agency the legal possibility to collect, preserve and share evidence on war crimes with the relevant national and international authorities, including the International Criminal Court,” Christian Wigand, the EU executive body’s spokesperson on justice affairs, said.

The Eurojust, responsible for judicial cooperation between EU member states on criminal matters, already has experience in investigating international crimes, but “the existing rules did not envisage a situation of this scale and crimes of this extent,” he added.

He also explained that the EU’s support is necessary because Ukrainian authorities struggle to store and preserve crucial evidence because of the ongoing war.

If adopted, the new mandate will allow the Eurojust to collect, analyze, and preserve evidence, as well as process the relevant data, including videos, audio recordings, and satellite images.

The legal changes would also enable the Eurojust to support the work of the International Criminal Court and other international bodies.

The European Parliament and EU member states have yet to approve the proposal.

At least 2,665 civilians have been killed and 3,053 injured in Ukraine since the start of the war, according to UN estimates, with the true figure feared to be much higher.

More than 5.2 million Ukrainians have fled to other countries, with over 7.7 million more internally displaced, the UN refugee agency said. (Anadolu) 

House committees to hold hearings during break

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Spread the loveMANILA – The House of Representatives has authorized for its committees to conduct hearings during the five-week congressional break, extending until late April.