ICC chief prosecutor Karim Khan said that, if Putin attempts to avoid meeting his charges by staying away from nations that recognise the ICC, the court can initiate proceedings without him.
Vladimir Putin has dismissed the charges as “void” (Image: Getty)
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The International Criminal Court’s (ICC) top lawyer is confident he can bring Vladimir Putin to justice. Karim Khan KC, who joined the court as chief prosecutor in 2021, is responsible for ensuring the Russian premier is brought up on charges that he oversaw the unlawful deportation of children from Ukraine. But Russia does not recognise the ICC’s jurisdiction, nor does it extradite citizens charged with crimes by other nations. The only way it seems the court could charge him, is if he set foot in one of the 120 nations that do recognise its authority. Speaking to the AFP news agency, Mr Khan said prosecutors have another option, a mechanism named “confirmation in absence”.
He told the Sunday Times the ICC uses this on those who “thumb their nose at justice” or “flee jurisdiction or wantonly refuse to surrender”. The prosecutor explained that it paves the way for judicial proceedings where “witnesses and other evidence can be heard and scrutinised by independent judges and a determination made”. In this case, the person pursued by the ICC goes “straight to trial”.
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Russian authorities declare new ‘temporary’ capital of occupied Zaporizhzhia
Russian authorities in occupied Zaporizhzhia have declared Melitopol the oblast capital.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said, in its latest intelligence update, that the move is temporary as Russian fighters attempt to capture new areas of the region.
Officials aim to keep this status in place until the city of Zaporizhzhia is “controlled by Russia”, the ministry said.
The oblast is one of four Vladimir Putin claimed to have annexed in September 2022, but western nations do not recognise this claim.
The update adds: “Russia has never occupied Zaporizhzhia city, a major industrial centre of 700,000 people, which is approximately 35km from the current front line.
“The quiet declaration of an alternative capital is likely tacit acknowledgement within the Russian system that its forces are highly unlikely to seize previously planned major objectives in the near future.”
Good morning from London. I’m Liam Doyle, I’ll be bringing you all the latest developments on the Ukraine war. Please feel free to get in touch with me as I work if you have a story or tips to share! Your thoughts are always welcome.
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