U.S. attorney general visits Ukraine, names a veteran prosecutor to help investigate Russian war crimes

By | June 21, 2022

The New York Times reports:

The United States attorney general, Merrick B. Garland, made a surprise trip to Ukraine on Tuesday and announced the appointment of a veteran prosecutor known for investigating former Nazis to lead American efforts in tracking Russian war criminals.

Mr. Garland’s visit to Ukraine, a previously unannounced side trip from his scheduled visits to Warsaw and Paris this week, was intended to bolster U.S. and international efforts aimed at helping Ukraine identify, apprehend and prosecute Russians involved in war crimes and other atrocities.
He met for an hour with Ukraine’s prosecutor general, Iryna Venediktova, near a border crossing with Poland to discuss the technical, forensic and legal support that the United States might be able to provide prosecutors in Ukraine, department officials said.

“The United States is sending an unmistakable message — there is no place to hide,” Mr. Garland, said after the meeting. He added, “We will pursue every avenue available to make sure that those who are responsible for these atrocities are held accountable.”

Mr. Garland said he was tapping Eli Rosenbaum, the former director of the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations, to create a war crimes accountability team, responsible for coordinating efforts with Ukraine and international law enforcement groups in bringing Russian perpetrators of atrocities to justice.

Mr. Rosenbaum, 67, is best known for his work for the World Jewish Congress investigating the hidden World War II history of Kurt Waldheim, a former United Nations secretary general whose army unit was implicated in war crimes against Jews and Yugoslavian partisans. He was also instrumental in the prosecution and deportation of Nazis living in the United States and Jews who committed atrocities against their own people in concentration camps. [Continue reading…]