“This is the first time that a prosecutor at the International Court of Justice has traveled to an area where war is taking place,” said a specialist

“This is the first time a prosecutor of the International Court of Justice has traveled to an area where war is taking place”, stated on franceinfo Wednesday April 13 Me Emmanuel Daoud, lawyer at the Paris Bar, specialist in international criminal law and registered on the list of lawyers at the International Criminal Court. The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, who traveled to Ukraineestimated during his visit to Boutcha that the country was a “crime scene”.

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franceinfo: How’s it going to happen for the prosecutor?

Emmanuel Daoud: It is the first time that a prosecutor of the International Court of Justice has traveled to an area where war is taking place. This is remarkable and shows the commitment of the International Criminal Court and its prosecutor to collecting evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity. We have ballistics experts, forensic doctors, who are going to autopsy the bodies of Boutcha civilians to find out if they were executed, if they are Russian bullets that are found in these bodies. Then, village by village, city by city, they will establish the cartography of these abuses and crimes. Once this is established, investigators and the prosecutor will try to work their way up the chain of command.

Is it important to get there as soon as possible? Will the evidence be hard to find?

It is absolutely necessary and essential as we see that we are talking on the Russian side about staging on the Ukrainian side. The fact that there may not only be ICC investigators, but also a team of French gendarmes, who are employed by the Attorney General of Ukraine, shows that there is expertise on the ground that allows real time to collect this evidence . As far as I know this is the first time this has happened. What will be the result? I bet it will be much faster than in these kinds of criminal proceedings concerning other war zones or other crimes against humanity.

“I believe that arrest warrants will be issued against the alleged perpetrators of these war crimes in two to three years, not in seven or ten years.”

Me Emmanuel Daoud, lawyer at the Paris Bar

at franceinfo

What is the legal difference between war crime and genocide that some politicians have talked about?

A war crime is the bombing of maternity hospitals, theatres, buildings in the knowledge that civilians are there and without identifying armed forces adjacent to these buildings. These are war crimes. Between the war crime and the genocide there is the crime against humanity where we are in larger geographic areas and the systematic deliberate desire to affect the civilian population. For a genocide it is necessary that the Russian side demonstrates that they wanted to exterminate the Ukrainian nation. So you need a will, a joint plan to eliminate as many Ukrainians as possible. Will this demonstration continue? I don’t know. The fact that there are strikes on a large part of the territory, that there is a joint plan of bombing places where there is a civilian population, executions, leads us more and more towards the war crime in the direction of crimes against humanity and genocide.

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