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Government’s top legal adviser appoints war crimes lawyer to help Ukraine

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he Government’s top legal adviser has appointed a war crimes lawyer to advise Ukraine over the Russian invasion.

The UK Attorney General Suella Braverman announced on Sunday that Sir Howard Morrison QC will act as an independent adviser to Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova.

Sir Howard has served as a judge at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Court (ICC) for more than 12 years, including overseeing cases like that of Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic.

It comes as Vladimir Putin continues to be accused of war crimes over his invasion of Ukraine.

Earlier this month, Ms Braverman signed a joint statement of support with Ms Venediktova, pledging support to gather evidence of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed by Putin’s regime in Ukraine.

Vladimir Putin continues to be accused of war crimes over his invasion of Ukraine (Mstyslav Chernov/AP) / AP

The attorney general told the House of Commons on Thursday that “all options are on the table” when it comes to seeking to prosecute Putin’s regime for war crimes in Ukraine.

Ms Braverman insisted the UK’s preferred approach is to hold to account those responsible through the ICC.

Asked about alternative forms of prosecution outside the ICC, of which Russia is not a member, Ms Braverman said: “All options are on the table and I will always defer and support my counterpart in Ukraine, the prosecutor general, in terms of my efforts to support her in terms of her choice of route for redress.

“But whilst we welcome the focus on accountability, we do believe that the ICC is the right place for those responsible for committing these atrocious crimes in Ukraine to be held accountable for their actions.

“That’s why we’re focusing all of our energy, led by the Deputy Prime Minister (Dominic Raab), all of our assistance and all of our resources on the ICC prosecutor’s independent investigation.”

The UK Attorney General Suella Braverman (pictured) announced on Sunday that Sir Howard Morrison QC will act as an independent adviser to Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova (Aaron Chown/PA) / PA Wire

The attorney general’s office said Ms Braverman is in regular contact with Ukraine’s prosecutor general with plans to meet in person next month.

Commenting on Sir Howard’s appointment, Ms Braverman said: “It has been a privilege to work with Ukraine’s Prosecutor General, Iryna Venediktova, my admiration for her courage and determination grows with every meeting.

“The UK is committed to showing that the atrocities we see being committed day after day in Ukraine will not be forgotten and that those giving or following illegal orders will be tracked down and held to account.

“I am pleased to offer Sir Howard’s expert help and I will continue to do all I can as attorney general to support Ukraine’s journey to justice against Russia.”

Ms Venediktova said: “We are honoured to have Sir Howard Morrison’s help and I am grateful to the attorney general for offering his assistance.

“Sir Howard’s experience and knowledge of international criminal law speaks louder than words and his help will be taken up immediately on a number of issues.”

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