War in Ukraine

The Ministry of Justice provides Ukraine with forensic personnel to investigate war crimes on its territory

News - 22.4.2022

The Ministry of Justice, headed by Pilar Llop, who said she was "proud that the International Criminal Court and the Ukrainian Prosecutor's Office have placed their trust in these Spanish professionals to clarify possible war crimes", will form a multidisciplinary team of forensic experts and other professionals to collaborate with the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC in the fieldwork in Ukraine.

Similarly, the resources of the National Institute of Toxicology and Forensic Sciences (INTCF) will be made available to the Office of the Prosecutor for the reception and analysis of the samples and traces collected, as well as other national resources.

In a first phase, a total of 39 forensic experts, organised in different teams, will be made available to the ICC. Of these, 29 will be forensic doctors, while the remaining 10 will be forensic (autopsy) specialists.

There will also be different forensic and medical experts within the INTCF, who will be in charge of receiving and analysing samples and traces that reach them.

All of them are highly qualified professionals for whom the Minister for Justice highlighted "the recognition and appreciation of their international prestige", as well as "the rapid response of INTCF professionals in supporting these investigations".

These professionals belong to the Institutes of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences (IMLCF) of Cáceres, Cantabria, La Rioja, Madrid, Valencia, Balearic Islands, Huelva, Valladolid, Salamanca, Badajoz, Granada, Alicante, Galicia, Murcia and Catalonia. However, more IMLCF members from other provinces are expected to join in the coming days. Both the number of experts and the institutes involved may be expanded, taking into account the different needs identified in the course of the work.

The participation of the Ministry of Justice will take the form of a Single Forensic Legal Coordination Authority, led by the General Secretariat for Innovation and Quality of the Public Justice Service and by the Directorate General for International Legal Cooperation and Human Rights, with the participation of the director of the National Institute of Toxicology and Forensic Sciences (INTCF).

With these measures, the Government of Spain is responding to requests for cooperation made last March by the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC to carry out investigations into the possible commission of international crimes on Ukrainian territory. Specifically, it requested the deployment of Noted National Experts (NDEs) to collect, analyse and process evidence, as well as interview victims and witnesses and conduct criminal investigations into the commission of sexual crimes, sex-based violence and crimes against children.

Similarly, the EU Justice Commissioner contacted the Justice Ministers of the Member States a few days ago to inform them of the European Commission's intention to collaborate with the ICC and the Ukrainian government in the investigation of these possible crimes and of the Ukrainian authorities' specific request for forensic personnel and criminal investigation experts.

Non official translation