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August 18, 2022

Romanian military prosecutors to probe Russian war crimes in Ukraine

The Military Prosecutor’s Section of the General Prosecutor’s Office announces having taken ex officio action and having opened a criminal case to probe into crimes against humanity that may have been committed in connection with the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the consequences of the said military operations on the people with Romanian nationality in the neighboring country.

“The Prosecutor’s Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice has taken ex officio action with regard to the perpetration of crimes against humanity, provided for by Art. 439 para. (1) letters g) and k) of the Criminal Code. The competence to carry out investigations falls on the Military Prosecutor’s Section. Concretely, the following were determined: on 24.02.2022, the Russian Federation launched an ample military operation (by air, land and sea) to invade Ukraine – an independent and sovereign state. According to available public information, the military attack is widespread and systematic, being directed against both military and civilian targets, resulting in the shelling of schools, hospitals, shopping malls, and directly affecting Ukraine’s civilian population. The consequences of the attack are particularly serious, inflicting a large number of deaths – children included – and injuries among the civilian population. At the same time, as a result of psychological trauma caused by the military attack of the Russian Federation, millions of civilians have left the territory of Ukraine, having currently the status of refugee, including on the territory of Romania,” the General Prosecutor’s Office announces in a release.

The Prosecutor’s Office argues that, according to Art. 10 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the Romanian criminal law also applies to crimes committed outside the territory of the country by a foreign citizen against a Romanian citizen.

“Jurisdiction is exercised by the Romanian criminal investigation bodies and on the basis of the principle of universality. The investigations also take into account the possession of Romanian citizenship by Ukrainian nationals,” the prosecutors said.

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