Friday, December 9, 2022

Romania becomes seventh member of joint investigation team on alleged core international crimes committed in Ukraine 

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The Romanian judicial authorities signed an agreement today to become a member of the joint investigation team (JIT) on alleged core international crimes committed in Ukraine. This makes Romania the seventh member of the JIT, which is actively supported by Eurojust. The JIT was set up on 25 March 2022 by Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine and later joined by Estonia, Latvia and Slovakia. In April of this year, the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) became a participant in the JIT.

The extension of the JIT to Romania was signed by Romanian Prosecutor General Ms Gabriela Scutea and her colleagues for the six other members at a coordination meeting at Eurojust. This meeting was held prior to the 16th Meeting of the Consultative Forum of Prosecutors General at the Agency, which will focus on the judicial response to the war in Ukraine.

The aim of the JIT is to facilitate investigations and prosecutions in the states concerned, as well as those which could be taken forward to the ICC. The membership of Romania amplifies the message that all JIT partners will take every measure possible to gather evidence on alleged core international crimes committed in Ukraine to bring those responsible to justice.

In view of this JIT, the Eurojust Regulation was amended, in order to store, preserve and analyse evidence on war crimes. Eurojust is now rolling out a programme to enable this and is setting up a dedicated database. In the meantime, the Agency has been providing essential logistical and operational support to the JIT partners, including to investigators on the ground in Ukraine.

A joint investigation team is the most advanced mechanism for long-term, cross-border judicial cooperation, which makes it possible to directly share information and keep partners up to date on a continuous basis. Also, it allows investigators to operate  in JIT partner countries, with the consent of the state involved.

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