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Ukrainian crisis: International Criminal Court to probe crime allegations

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According to European news media outlets on Saturday, the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands, will be initiating an investigation into alleged human rights violations and other crimes committed in the midst of the current Ukrainian crisis.

In Geneva, Austria, during private meetings of government officials from the Obama administration, the European Union, Ukraine, and Russia aimed at reducing the tension in eastern Ukraine, Russia's strong-willed President Vladimir Putin appeared undeterred.

Although the Ukrainian government is not a signatory to the ICC agreement, officials there did acquiesce to giving the international court complete authority to investigate and prosecute those who allegedly committed crimes on Ukrainian soil from Nov. 21 2013 to Feb. 22, 2014.

With the Ukraine on board, the ICC Prosecution Office is expected to begin a preliminary probe of the Ukrainian unrest and the allegations of Russian Federation aggression.

"The prosecutor of the ICC, Fatou Bensouda, has decided to open a preliminary investigation into the situation in the Ukraine to establish whether... the criteria for opening an investigation are met," ICC officials said in its statement.

The International Criminal Court is recognized by most nations as an independent court that investigates and prosecutes people -- mostly government officials -- who are accused of serious crimes against humanity such as genocide, torture, war crimes and other serious crimes against humanity.



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