Vladimir Putin stands accused of being responsible for war crimes in Ukraine, including the unlawful deportation of children to Russia.
ICC prosecutor Karim Ahmad Khan tells the BBC’s Anna Holligan that the deportation of children was inhumane and that Russia could have taken other measures to protect children – if that was its intention. The children’s commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova has suggested she was helping children by evacuating them from war zones.
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“If there was a danger in a particular area, move them to other parts of Ukraine where that danger was not present,” he says.
“If that wasn’t possible, offer to move them to third countries.”
But this “accelerated process that seemed to have been implemented” by Moscow to give children a foreign nationality “is something that required attention, and this is what also gave additional impetus to the investigation”, he says.
Karim Ahmad Khan tells the BBC’s Anna Holligan that “no proper prosecutor will start with a target, you start with the evidence and see where the evidence leads you”.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a head of state, in the military, or someone “low in the pecking order”, no impunity is allowed, he says.
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“Individuals are responsible for their actions,” he adds.
“This type of crime, one doesn’t need to be a lawyer, one needs to be a human being to know how egregious it is,” he says, on the crimes that Vladimir Putin is accused of.
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