The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has opened a preliminary investigation into crimes committed before and during the events surrounding the departure of President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych from power.
"ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has decided to open a preliminary investigation of the situation in Ukraine to determine whether there are grounds to initiate a full investigation," - said in a press release, the ICC said on Friday.
Earlier, the ICC received representation of the Ukrainian government about taking its jurisdiction investigation into the events at the Independence Square in Kiev during the specified period.
"Registrar Herman von Hebel ICC received from the Government of Ukraine declaration accepting the jurisdiction of the court for offenses which are alleged to have been committed in its territory during the period from 21 November 2013 to 22 February 2014," - said the court.
The application was submitted in accordance with Article 12 (3) of the Rome Statute. Article allows the State not party to the statute, to recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC.
At the same time, the recognition of the jurisdiction of the ICC does not automatically initiate an investigation. If the prosecutor believes that the available information is sufficient grounds to open an investigation, he will decide whether to file or not to file a petition to the judges to open an investigation. If an investigation is opened, the prosecutor of the ICC will decide on the basis of the evidence collected, whether to submit a petition to the ICC judges to issue a subpoena or a warrant for the arrest of those accused of crimes that fall under the jurisdiction of the ICC.
The International Criminal Court - the first legal institution acting constantly, which is competent to prosecute those responsible for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Founded on the basis of the Rome Statute, adopted in 1998. There since July 2002.
ICC in The Hague, but his meeting at the request of the court, may be held in any place.
Ukraine has signed the Rome Statute of 20 January 2000, but until now it has not ratified.
Earlier, Prime Minister of Ukraine Yatsenyuk said that by signing the political part of the Association Agreement with the European Union, Ukraine is obliged to ratify the Rome Statute.
In this regard, the government has already appealed to the Constitutional Court to determine the constitutionality of the possible ratification by Ukraine Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court in The Hague. In the case of a positive decision by the COP Cabinet intends to ask Parliament to ratify the Statute.
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