'Putin will end up in the dock of a court' for Ukraine war crimes, vows Dominic Raab

24 March 2022, 19:38 | Updated: 24 March 2022, 20:03

By Sophie Barnett

Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab has issued a stark message to Putin and his commanders, warning they "will end up in the dock of a court".

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The Justice Secretary told LBC's Tonight with Andrew Marr that if we "have the stamina" Putin and his commanders will end up being prosecuted for their crimes in Ukraine.

The former war crimes prosecutor was asked by Andrew whether there is any point in the International Criminal Court (ICC) investigating potential war crimes.

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Mr Raab, who had just returned from The Hague, said: "The word is going out and this is what we are doing in The Hague, with 38 other countries following our lead, sending the message to Putin and his commanders if you commit these kind of crimes you will end up in the dock of a court.

"Maybe not tomorrow Andrew, maybe you're right, but if we've got the stamina for this, if we want to end the impunity for these appalling scenes on our TV screens, the message goes out now and we stick with it."

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He added that the UK Government will provide "concrete, tangible" support to the ICC in its investigation, with a £1m package of support to aid the probe.

The ICC opened an investigation earlier this month after Britain and 37 allies referred Russia over what the Prime Minister Boris Johnson described as "abhorrent" attacks.

ICC prosecutor Karim Khan said work would begin "immediately", with his team already collecting evidence, after the co-ordinated referral freed him to get to work without the need for judicial approval.

Mr Khan will look at past and present allegations of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, and will go as far back as 2013, before Russia's annexation of Crimea the following year.

The ICC prosecutes individuals accused of the most serious crimes concerning the international community, where states cannot or are unwilling to do so.

Boris Johnson previously warned the Russian president Vladimir Putin "cannot commit these horrific acts with impunity".