Feb 6, 2023

AG Garland Meets Ukrainian Prosecutor General to Discuss Investigation of Russian War Crimes Transcript

AG Garland Meets Ukrainian Prosecutor General to Discuss Investigation of Russian War Crimes Transcript
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AG Garland Meets Ukrainian Prosecutor General to Discuss Investigation of Russian War Crimes. Read the transcript here.

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Speaker 1 (00:02):

I’m pleased to welcome Ukrainian Prosecutor General Kostin back to the Justice Department for a second visit today. Later this month, we will mark one year since the start of Russia’s unjust, unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. In that time, the people of Ukraine have suffered unimaginable horrors at the hands of the Russian forces. Thousands of Ukrainian civilians, including hundreds of children, have been brutally killed. The Russian regime has purposefully targeted civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, apartment buildings, and schools. Russian forces have raped, tortured, and executed civilians and forcefully deported Ukrainian children.

In response to these horrific ongoing atrocities, the Prosecutor General and his office have worked tirelessly to hold perpetrators accountable under the law. In the middle of a war, Ukrainian prosecutors and investigators are joining emergency responders at the sites of attacks, meticulously collecting and preserving evidence. They are risking their lives in order to record the truth of what is happening in their country. They are standing courageously in defense of democracy and the rule of law. It is our honor to stand beside them.

During our last meeting in September, Prosecutor General Kostin and I signed a memorandum of understanding to deepen our cooperation in pursuing justice for the victims of war crimes. Over the past several months, that is exactly what we have been doing. American and Ukrainian prosecutors are working together and working closer than ever before in our investigation of Russian war crimes. Together we have zeroed in on specific crimes committed by Russian forces, including attacks on civilian targets, and we are working to identify not only the individuals who carried out these attacks, but those who ordered them.

In addition, since our last meeting, Congress has expanded the Justice Department’s authority to prosecute alleged war criminals who are found in the United States. Russian War criminals will find no refuge in the United States.

Congress has also given the Justice Department new authority to transfer certain assets we have seized from Russian oligarchs for the rebuilding of Ukraine. Today, I am announcing that I have authorized the first ever transfer of forfeited Russian assets for use in Ukraine. These forfeited assets follow the announcement I made last April of the indictment of designated Russian oligarch, Konstantin Malofeev on charges of sanction invasions.

At that time, I also announced the seizure of millions of dollars from an account of a US financial institution traced to Malofeev’s sanction evasions. Yesterday, the US District Court for the Southern District of New York ordered the funds forfeited to the United States. With my authorization today, the forfeited funds will next be transferred to the State Department to support the people of Ukraine.

Before I turn over the podium to the Prosecutor General, I want to recognize the many Justice Department personnel involved in this work. In particular I want to thank the Justice Department’s Task Force, KleptoCapture, and the War Crimes Accountability Team. I am incredibly proud of them. The Justice Department will continue to hold accountable Russian oligarchs, and others, whose criminal acts enable the Russian government to continue its unprovoked and unjust war in Ukraine. We will continue to work closely with our international partners in support of investigation and prosecution of the atrocities that have occurred during this war. We look forward to deepening our prosecutions and our investigations, but most of all our partnership in the days ahead.

Prosecutor General Kostin.

Speaker 2 (04:22):

Thank you, dear Attorney General Garland. Good afternoon to everyone. Today we are being hosted by Attorney General Garland to discuss our ongoing cooperation in holding Russia and its facilitators accountable for the aggressive war against my country, as well as for atrocities committed. We are grateful to United States for its decisive efforts and support. Ukrainian people will never forget that

We particularly welcome resolute efforts at the legal front, including adoption of the pieces of legislation, ensuring that US will help us to hold criminals accountable. I am pleased to note that signing of the memorandum of understanding between the Department of Justice and my office has further contributed to yielding concrete results.

Today, we are witnessing the authorization of transfer of the confiscated assets in the amount of 5.4 million US dollars to the State Department for the purpose of rebuilding war ravaged Ukraine. The inherent part of the accountability is that the responsible party pays for the devastation that it caused. Therefore, the reparation of tremendous human and material damage to Ukraine and Ukrainian people is an important aspect in our quest for justice.

This is a clear message. There will be no immunity and impunity for international crimes. At the same time, we all know that the international crimes are committed by individuals and only by holding them accountable, along with Russian Federation, we can consider justice served. We recognize that Ukraine has a primary obligation to anti-punity for the most serious crimes of concern. Ensuring cooperation and partnership with international and national stakeholders is fundamental for our success.

We commend Attorney General, War Crimes Accountability Team, and KleptoCapture task force for their assistance, ranging from strategic legal advice, supporting investigation, and effective enforcement of sanctions regime. Therefore, Ukraine and United States will continue to act jointly against planners, organizers, implementers, and facilitators of international crime in partnership and unity. Unity for justice.

Speaker 1 (07:42):

Thank you. We’ll now begin our technical conversations, which will continue most of the day. Thanks to everyone for coming.

Speaker 2 (07:48):

Thank you.

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