Deputy prime minister Dominic Raab has said UK civil service, police, and military expertise will be made available to the International Criminal Court for its investigations into Russian war crimes following the invasion of Ukraine.
Raab, who is also justice secretary and a former human-rights lawyer, extended the offer of practical technical support on a visit to the ICC in The Hague yesterday.
The package of support ranges from police and military analysis to specialist IT to help the ICC collect and preserve evidence, as well as the UK’s significant legal expertise.
The Ministry of Justice said Raab was leading a taskforce of ministers, senior civil servants and operational partners, such as the police and Crown Prosecution Service to establish how best the UK can support the ICC to prosecute war crimes in Ukraine.
Raab said the offer might eventually lead to witness relocation and imprisoning those found guilty, as the UK has done for previous war crimes. However, he said support with gathering and preserving evidence was “the immediate priority”.
“Russian commanders carrying out war crimes should know they cannot act with impunity,” he said.
“Like Radovan Karadžić and Charles Taylor before them, their actions risk landing them in a jail cell.”
Before he became an MP, Raab was the Foreign Office’s head of war crimes in the British Embassy in The Hague, liaising with the ICC from 2003 until 2006, supporting the prosecution of war crimes.
In that role, he negotiated agreements that allowed for witnesses to be relocated to safety in the UK and for those convicted to serve their sentences in UK prisons, including Radovan Karadžić.
Karadžić was convicted of genocide in Bosnia at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in 2016.