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RCMP to assist ICC probe of alleged Russian war crimes in Ukraine

Click to play video: 'RCMP to support ICC probe into Russian war crimes, launch own investigation: Trudeau'
RCMP to support ICC probe into Russian war crimes, launch own investigation: Trudeau
WATCH: RCMP to support ICC probe into Russian war crimes, launch own investigation: Trudeau – Mar 29, 2022

The Canadian government announced it will send RCMP officers to assist an investigation by the International Criminal Court into Russia’s alleged war crimes during its invasion of Ukraine.

The Tuesday morning announcement indicated that the Canadian government wants to ensure that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime is held accountable for its actions.

“Canada will be making a significant contribution to the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) ongoing investigations, including the ongoing investigation into the situation in Ukraine, further to a request from the ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor,” reads a statement from Minister of Public Safety Marco Mendicino.

“Vladimir Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine is an appalling attack on democracy, state sovereignty and human rights. His war machine is indiscriminately destroying homes, hospitals and schools. Millions have been forced to flee their communities, families torn apart and innocent people are being killed.”

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The ICC launched a probe into possible war crimes committed in Ukraine on March 2 after Canada, along with 38 member states, urged it to launch an investigation. The referrals allowed the ICC to fast-track an investigation, giving the prosecutor the ability to skip seeking approval of the court in The Hague, which would have been a months-long process.

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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began on Feb. 24 and has claimed thousands of lives and displaced millions.

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The RCMP already has personnel deployed to assist the ICC, but this move will further bolster their efforts, according to Mendicino.

“Canadian investigators will be assigned to teams working to end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community — including genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity,” Mendocino said.

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“These members have the experience and expertise necessary to collect evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity, which may be used in a subsequent prosecution.”

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