"A complex puzzle": BKA investigates Russian war criminals

The atrocities committed by Russian soldiers in Ukraine are also occupying investigators in Germany.

"A complex puzzle": BKA investigates Russian war criminals

The atrocities committed by Russian soldiers in Ukraine are also occupying investigators in Germany. BKA boss Münch reports that his authority is following up on hundreds of tips - and hopes that the results can later be incorporated into processes.

According to the Federal Criminal Police Office, it is investigating several hundred tips on Russian war crimes in Ukraine. "So far we have received a three-digit number of tips," said BKA President Holger Münch of the "Welt am Sonntag". Not only the perpetrators of war crimes are being investigated, but also those responsible militarily and politically.

"This is the most difficult part of our investigation, a complex jigsaw puzzle," said Münch. "Our clear goal is to identify those responsible for atrocities, prove their actions through our investigations, and bring them to justice." To this end, the BKA is following all leads, looking for whistleblowers and collecting evidence.

Münch expressed the hope that such processes will also take place: "That is our goal, even if it can take a long time." So far, the investigations into the war in Ukraine are still "at the very beginning," he admitted.

The Attorney General, on whose behalf the BKA is investigating, is currently conducting a structural investigation, but no proceedings against individual suspects, said Münch. "But in the end, of course, we want to hold the perpetrators accountable," he announced.

The BKA also uses secret service material for this, for example from the Federal Intelligence Service. Among other things, he recorded radio messages from Russian soldiers in which they reported openly about atrocities committed against the civilian population. Information relevant to possible criminal proceedings was also received from the services of the partner states.

Münch is also considering sending German investigators to Ukraine in the future: "Basically, I can imagine that the BKA will also be active on site." However, this would first require an international mandate. Safety issues would also have to be considered.

Münch spoke of investigative successes in enforcing sanctions against Russian oligarchs associated with Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin. "In addition to pure funds in accounts that the banks are responsible for freezing, material assets were also frozen," he told WamS. Specifically, he named the yachts "Dilbar" and "Luna", which were assigned to various Russian oligarchs. Their value is estimated at almost one billion euros.

"We are thus preparing in Germany for possible charges against people who are suspected of being responsible for war crimes in Ukraine," said the BKA boss. According to the so-called universal legal principle, war criminals can also be tried in Germany.

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