expedite an investigation by allowing the prosecutor to avoid having to seek authorisation from the court in The Hague, slashing months from the procedure.
On Monday, the prosecutor said that he would seek court approval to investigate claims of war crimes in Ukraine. Khan said in a statement that the prosecutor's office would begin gathering evidence for "any historical or contemporary charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, or genocide committed on any portion of the territory of Ukraine by any individual."
Ukraine accepted ICC jurisdiction for crimes against humanity and war crimes committed on its territory since the end of 2013, following Russia's annexation of Crimea in March 2014 and subsequent conflict in eastern Ukraine between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian government forces.
The prosecutor's office declared in December 2020 that it had evidence to believe war crimes and other crimes were committed during the fighting in eastern Ukraine, but it did not require a thorough investigation.
Russia is not a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and rejects its authority. Regardless of the nationality of the accused offenders, the court has the authority to investigate charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity perpetrated on Ukrainian soil.