Merrick Garland is visiting Ukraine to discuss Russian war crimes

WASHINGTON – United States Attorney General Merrick Garland is making an unannounced trip to Ukraine on Tuesday to discuss prosecuting Russians for war crimes, a spokesman said.

Mr. Garland plans to meet with Ukraine’s Attorney General Irina Venediktov, “to discuss US and international efforts to help Ukraine identify, detain and prosecute those involved in war crimes and other atrocities in Ukraine,” spokeswoman Anthony D. Cars in Email.

The meeting is expected to last about an hour, and the two are expected to discuss technical, forensic and legal support, which Mr. Garland’s department may be able to secure prosecutors in Ukraine, department officials said.

The two prosecutors met for the last time In May in Washington. Mr. Garland’s trip on Tuesday was part of a pre-planned trip to Paris and Warsaw.

Earlier this year, Mr. Garland and FBI Director Christopher A. Ray said they were working with investigators and prosecutors in Ukraine, a signal that the Biden administration intends to follow its public condemnation of atrocities perpetrated by Russian forces documented during the war.

“The world sees what is happening in Ukraine – the Ministry of Justice sees what is happening in Ukraine. Garland, who helped prosecute the conspirators in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, said in April.

Senior prosecutors from the Ministry of Justice consulted with their Ukrainian counterparts, European Union officials and European law enforcement agencies to gather and analyze evidence of war crimes. Garland said then.

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

“We have seen and found that a number of war crimes have been committed by Russian forces,” said Beth Van Shaak, a freelance ambassador for the State Department of Global Criminal Justice. at a briefing in Washington last week.

“What we see is not the result of a fraudulent act,” she added, “but rather a model and practice in all areas in which Russian forces are involved.”

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