The Netherlands to dispatch forensic investigation team to Ukraine

The Dutch government, in a decision by the Cabinet, has decided that the Netherlands will send a forensic investigation team to Ukraine. The team will mainly consist of personnel from the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee (KMar), supplemented by experts from other Defence units and from the Netherlands Forensic Institute, and will be collecting evidence that can be used in investigations into war crimes and in criminal proceedings.

Ukraine has asked the International Criminal Court and the EU Member States for support in the investigation of war crimes committed in Ukraine. The government has decided to deploy Dutch expertise in the field of forensic investigation and evidence gathering, and will dispatch a forensic investigation team to Ukraine. The deployment of the team is a collective effort of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Defence, and Justice and Security. The team will operate under the banner of the International Criminal Court.

In an international context, the Netherlands is already involved in combating impunity and investigating war crimes in Ukraine in various ways. For example, the Netherlands provides support for the International Criminal Court with personnel and through a financial contribution, the Netherlands has made efforts to establish a UN fact-finding mission with a focus on evidence gathering, and provides financial support for the field office of the UN Human Rights Office to continue monitoring human rights violations.

The forensic investigation team will begin its work at the start of May and will in principle be deployed for a period of two weeks. The team will conduct its work at various sites in the vicinity of Kyiv. In addition to forensic investigators, the team of roughly 30 people will include detectives from the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee, explosive ordnance disposal experts, medical personnel, an interpreter and a team from the Special Security Missions Brigade.