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The International Criminal Court’s (ICC) top lawyer is confident he can bring to justice. Karim Khan KC, who joined the court as chief prosecutor in 2021, is responsible for ensuring the Russian premier is brought up on charges that he oversaw the unlawful deportation of children from Ukraine. But does not recognise the ICC’s jurisdiction, nor does it extradite citizens charged with crimes by other nations. The only way it seems the court could charge him, is if he set foot in one of the 120 nations that do recognise its authority. Speaking to the AFP news agency, Mr Khan said prosecutors have another option, a mechanism named “confirmation in absence”.

He told the Sunday Times the ICC uses this on those who “thumb their nose at justice” or “flee jurisdiction or wantonly refuse to surrender”. The prosecutor explained that it paves the way for judicial proceedings where “witnesses and other evidence can be heard and scrutinised by independent judges and a determination made”. In this case, the person pursued by the ICC goes “straight to trial”.