AG Merrick Garland Announces DOJ Investigating Russian War Crimes in Ukraine

Attorney General Merrick Garland Wednesday said that the Justice Department is assisting the international investigation into apparent Russian war crimes in Ukraine, Politico reports.

“The world sees what is happening in Ukraine. The Justice Department sees what is happening in Ukraine,” Garland said at a news conference, flanked by Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and other national security officials.

Wray specifically referred to images from Bucha, where bodies of tied up and murdered civilians were found on streets and in mass graves.

“This department has a long history of helping to hold accountable those who perpetrate war crimes,” Garland said, citing former AG Robert Jackson, who became the chief US prosecutor of Nazi war crimes in the Nuremberg trials.

DOJ teams up with EU:

Garland said that top DOJ criminal division prosecutors met Monday with European prosecutors from Eurojust and Europol “to work out a plan for gathering evidence with respect to Ukraine.”

The DOJ is also working with the State Department “on a multinational effort to support the Ukrainian prosecutor,” Garland said.

Garland said he spoke personally with the top French law enforcement official.

French prosecutors have opened three investigations into possible war crimes committed by Russian troops against French nationals in Ukraine.

DOJ indicts Russian oligarch:

The DOJ also announced on Wednesday that it charged Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev with conspiracy to violate US sanctions.

The DOJ said the oligarch hired an American former Fox News director to help him launch TV networks in Russia and Greece to get around the sanctions.

The DOJ also alleged that the oligarch illegally conspired with the director to transfer $10 million from a US bank to a business associate in violation of sanctions.

“The Justice Department will work relentlessly to counter Russian aggression, including by enforcing U.S. sanctions law,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. “As alleged in the indictment, Konstantin Malofeyev is a Russian oligarch who has been sanctioned since 2014 for threatening Ukraine and providing financial support to the Donetsk separatist region. Malofeyev knowingly violated U.S. sanctions by paying for services of a U.S. person and by seeking to transfer money that had been invested in the United States.”

 

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