Arusha, April 25, 2014 (FH) – The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, has decided to open a preliminary examination into the situation in Ukraine, according to an ICC press release received by Hirondelle on Friday.

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This comes after Kiev accepted the ICC’s jurisdiction for crimes allegedly committed on its territory from November 21, 2013 to February 22, 2014. The ICC Registrar received on April 17 a declaration to this effect filed under Article 12 (3) of the Rome Statute, which allows a non-member State to accept the Court’s jurisdiction.

The Prosecutor’s preliminary examination is to determine whether the Rome Statute criteria for opening an investigation are met. After it is carried out, the Prosecutor will decide whether or not to request authorization from the judges to open an investigation.

If she opens an investigation, Bensouda’s office will then decide on the basis of evidence gathered whether to ask the judges to issue arrest warrants or summonses for suspects.

Ukraine was rocked during the period in question by violent clashes between demonstrators and security forces. The opposition protests led to President Viktor Yanukovych being forced from office in February.