Members of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to investigate grave international crimes in Ukraine have signed an agreement to investigate not only war crimes, but also the crime of genocide, the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) has said.
Accoring to PGO statement in the Telegram channel on Friday, the agreement on the investigation of the crime of genocide was signed in Vilnius following a working meeting.
Ukrainian Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin thanked the partners for supporting Ukraine on its way to developing a network of comprehensive responsibility of Russia.
“International efforts in investigating and prosecuting the crime of genocide have reached a new level. We are joining forces with partners to investigate this ‘crime of all crimes.’ The agreement will facilitate the exchange of evidence and information, and the work of the JIT will be strengthened by international experts,” Kostin said.
According to him, from the first days of a full-scale invasion, it became obvious that the massiveness and systemic nature of war crimes committed in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine has signs of a campaign to persecute Ukrainians as a national group.
“Now in our investigations we are checking two core aspects: whether certain war crimes have signs of genocide and whether the patterns discovered indicate a planned policy of genocide,” the prosecutor general said.
Lithuanian Prosecutor General Nida Grunskiene said their joint actions aimed at ensuring quick and real coordination and interaction of law enforcement agencies’ actions were much more than just a practical, logistical step. She said it was a signal to the world that those responsible for that military invasion will not weaken the common commitment to a free and democratic society.
According to the office’s statement, during the two-day coordination meeting in Vilnius, the participants discussed the progress of investigations, their directions and consulted on important decisions in the activities of the JIT, as well as the possibility of joining Europol’s JIT.
JIT includes Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia and Romania. Its members are Eurojust and the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.
In March 2023, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the U.S. Department of Justice and JIT member states.