The European Commissioner believes that the issue of Putinʼs immunity can be left to the judges

Sofiia Telishevska, Oksana Kovalenko

European Commissioner Didier Reynders believes that the issue of overcoming Putinʼs immunity in order to bring him to justice should be left to the judges of the special tribunal.

He said this in a comment to "Babel" on the sidelines of the "Restoring Justice for Ukraine" conference, answering the question of whether a tribunal option is possible that would overcome Putinʼs immunity as the countryʼs president.

"It will be the judgeʼs decision at the end. You know that the ISS already has some solutions. Youʼve seen ICC warrants against various people in Russia, including President Putin, for deporting children. So it is possible," he noted and added that his job as a European commissioner is to provide prosecutors and judges with all the necessary tools for this.

"But in the end it will be an independent decision of prosecutors to prosecute, and judges to decide on guilt or innocence," he said.

Reineders named the two options for the creation of the tribunal, which, in his opinion, are now the most likely — a multilateral agreement on the tribunal or, perhaps, a bilateral agreement between the Council of Europe and Ukraine. (According to Babel, this is not an exhaustive list of options currently being discussed in the tribunal creation group)

According to him, interim decisions can be made next month. "I hope that this year we will have a solution to this issue," he added.

  • As you know, the tribunal creation group is currently discussing different models. A key dispute revolves around whether the proposed tribunal model can overcome troika immunity, or how exactly to create a tribunal that satisfies all parties and still overcomes immunity. One idea is to leave the issue to the judges of a future tribunal.