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New U.N. Team to Look into Syria War Crimes - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English
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New U.N. Team to Look into Syria War Crimes

Geneva- A new body is being set up at the United Nations in Geneva to prepare prosecutions of war crimes committed in Syria, U.N. officials and diplomats said on Thursday.

The General Assembly voted to establish the mechanism in December and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is due to name a judge or prosecutor as its head this month.

“We expect to start very, very shortly with just a handful of people,” a U.N. human rights official told Reuters.

The team will “analyze information, organize and prepare files on the worst abuses that amount to international crimes – primarily war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide – and identify those responsible”, she said.

While it would not be able to prosecute itself, the idea is to prepare files for future prosecution that states or the International Criminal Court in The Hague could use.

The focus on prosecutions means evidence collected since 2011 by a U.N. Commission of Inquiry may be sharpened into legal action.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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