Merrick Garland visits Ukraine to discuss Russian war crimes

WASHINGTON – U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland will make an unannounced trip to Ukraine on Tuesday to discuss prosecuting Russians for war crimes, according to his spokesman.

Garland plans to meet Ukraine’s prosecutor general, Iryna Venediktova, “to discuss US and international efforts to help Ukraine identify, arrest, and prosecute individuals involved in war crimes and other atrocities in Ukraine,” spokesman Anthony D. Coley said in an email.

The meeting is expected to last about an hour and the two are expected to discuss the technical, forensic and legal assistance Garland’s department can provide to prosecutors in Ukraine, ministry officials said.

Two prosecutors meet for the last time in the May in Washington. Mr. Garland’s trip on Tuesday was part of a previously scheduled trip to Paris and Warsaw.

Earlier this year, Mr. Garland and FBI director, Christopher A. Wray, said they were working with investigators and prosecutors in Ukraine, a signal that the Biden administration intends to follow through with the condemnation. publicize the atrocities committed by Russian forces. recorded during the war.

“The world sees what’s happening in Ukraine – the Justice Department sees what’s happening in Ukraine,” said Garland, who helped prosecute the mastermind behind the 1995 Oklahoma City bombings. in April.

Mr. Garland said at the time that senior Justice Department prosecutors were working with their Ukrainian counterparts, European Union officials and European law enforcement agencies to collect and Analyze evidence of war crimes.

His team also worked with the State Department to provide logistical support and advice to Ms. Venediktova and her prosecutors.

“We have seen and determined that a number of war crimes were committed by Russian forces,” said Beth Van Schaack, general ambassador for global criminal justice at the State Department. at a meeting in Washington last week.

“What we are seeing is not the result of a rogue unit,” she added, “but a pattern and practice across all areas where Russian forces are engaged.”

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