Support to the Prosecutor's OfficesPublished 12 October 2021
The MATRA project continues to provide support to Ukrainian prosecutorial and investigative authorities, enhancing their capacity to investigate and prosecute international crimes.
During the last months, Global Rights Compliance ('GRC') has assisted the Donetsk and Luhansk Prosecutor’s Offices in submitting an Article 15 Communication to the International Criminal Court related to 43 incidents of attacks on, and the destruction of, bridges during the armed conflict in Donbas between May 2014 and January 2019. On 11 October 2021, GRC’s Wayne Jordash QC attended a press conference held by the Office of the Prosecutor General where the Article 15 Communication was officially signed and sent to the ICC.
On the same day, Wayne Jordash joined the session of the Council of Experts on Crimes Committed in the Armed Conflict operating as an advisory body within the Office of the Prosecutor General. The meeting concerned exchanging experience in investigating international crimes, related challenges, and recommendations to overcome these challenges. To support the ongoing work of the Office of the Prosecutor General, GRC has provided draft Recommendations for Addressing Conflict-Related Crimes in Ukraine and an accompanying Prosecutorial Strategy. Publication of both documents is forthcoming.
On 11 and 12 October 2021, GRC’s Anna Mykytenko and Ruby Axelson visited the Luhansk Prosecutor’s Office in the city of Severodonetsk. As part of the visit, Ms. Mykytenko and Ms. Axelson conducted two training sessions with the War Crimes Department ('WCD') of the Luhansk Prosecutor’s Office covering topics including: an introduction to international humanitarian law, international crimes under Ukraine’s draft Bill 2689, how to investigate the contextual elements of crimes against humanity and war crimes (including how to establish non-international armed conflict, international armed conflicts, and occupation), and how to recognise and prove the crime against humanity of torture.
In addition, Ms. Mykytenko and Ms. Axelson conducted a training session with the WCD prosecutors and investigators of the Luhansk National Police on how to investigate and prosecute sexual violence crimes as crimes against humanity and war crimes, the crime of attacking civilian objects, and the crime of aggression under Bill 2689. Ms. Mykytenko and Ms. Axelson also attended a conference on the results of the Office of the Prosecutor General’s recent reforms.