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Swiss prosecutor asked to investigate attack on Ukrainian journalist

Human rights groups have asked Switzerland to investigate an alleged attack by Russian forces on a Swiss photojournalist in Ukraine earlier this year, they say. Prosecutors confirmed Friday.

The Ukrainian NGO Truth Hounds has asked the Swiss Attorney General (OAG) to accuse the March attack on Swiss freelance journalist Guillaume Briquet in southern Ukraine of possible war crimes. The group that helped file the complaint, according to Switzerland-based Civitas Maxima.

The OAG confirmed to AFP that it had received the complaint and said it was "currently investigating according to normal procedures."

"This is the first criminal complaint we have received in this context," he said, emphasizing that receiving a complaint does not automatically initiate an investigation.

According to Civitas Maxima, on March 6, when his car with his Geneva plate and his PRESS written on both sides of him was ambushed by Russian forces near Mikolaiv, Brique deported him. injured his head and arm.

Possible attackers identified

Truth Hounds legal director Dmytro Koval told his RTS broadcaster that the group He said he had been documenting war crimes in Ukraine since 2009. Identify the Russian unit that probably opened fire on Briquet's car.

Civitas Maxima, a legal representative for victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity, suggested that journalists had been deliberately targeted.

"Mr Briquet believes the media are being targeted to intimidate journalists not to report on the conflict," he said in a statement.

Since launching its invasion of Ukraine on 24 February, the Russian military has often been accused of deliberately targeting journalists who identified themselves as overt media personnel.

At least 12 of his journalists have been killed in the conflict over the past six months, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Koval stressed that Ukraine is struggling to investigate the sheer number of alleged war crimes and needs help from other countries.

"No country can deal with so many war crimes currently suspected in Ukraine," he said in a statement. “It is very important to involve in the investigation the states that have jurisdiction over such crimes or can promote the principle of universal jurisdiction over them.”

Swiss prosecutors said: A task force has been formed to collect evidence of alleged war crimes committed in Ukraine from refugees arriving in Switzerland.

The OAG stressed that perpetrators of international crimes can only be prosecuted if they are in Switzerland.

However, the department also has a number of documents for submission to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, or for the rapid commencement of criminal proceedings should the suspected perpetrator enter Swiss territory. , said it was securing evidence it received about such crimes.