Speaking with CNN’s Jake Tapper on “The Lead,” Iryna Venediktova said Ukraine has identified more than 500 suspects in the sprawling probe, including Russian politicians, military personnel and propaganda agents “who wanted this war, who started this war and who continued this war . “
“We want to prosecute these war criminals in our Ukrainian courts, named by Ukraine,” Venediktova said, while acknowledging the role of the International Criminal Court.
Venediktova said Monday that she has made multiple visits to Bucha, where the community is “still exhuming the dead bodies from the mass grave.”
“It is not only war crimes. Now we can say – a lot of crimes against humanity,” she said.
The scenes out of the Kyiv suburb have drawn international outrage, with Western leaders – including President Joe Biden – calling for war crimes investigations and fresh sanctions against Russia.
The President said earlier this month that the images from Bucha warranted calling Putin a “war criminal,” adding, “but we have to gather the information. We have to continue to provide Ukraine with the weapons they need to continue the fight and we have to get all the details so this can be an actual – have a war crime trial. “
The top war crimes prosecutor for the International Criminal Court has traveled to Ukraine to investigate, and the US Embassy in Kyiv argued in the war’s opening days that specific Russian attacks constituted war crimes.
Anyone accused of a crime in the jurisdiction of the court can be tried. The court tries people, not countries, and focuses on those who hold the most responsibility: leaders and officials.