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Biden shows support for a war crimes trial on Putin, but can it be done?

Posted at 7:54 PM, Apr 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-05 22:54:36-04

Monday, President Biden came out in support of the European Union. He called for a war crimes trial to be held against Russian President Vladimir Putin.

This comes after Ukrainian officials estimate more than 400 civilian bodies have been found on the streets of Bucha, Ukraine.

The question is can Putin be put on trial?

National security experts and international law experts say there are three potential ways.

The first is that the United Nations could have a tribunal. National Security expert, Ron Bee believes that would never come to fruition as both Russia and China would most likely veto it.

RELATED: Biden: Putin should face war crimes trial for killings in Ukraine

The second option is that a lawsuit could be filed by the European Union to the International Criminal Court. The ICC prosecutes the most serious violations, such as genocides and crimes against humanity.

The third option is if a country like Russia or Ukraine held a trial themselves.

International law professor William Aceves believes none of those options are likely to happen.

Bee shares that the most likely option would be an ICC prosecution, which could take years and typically happens after a war. Bee shares that means we could be waiting a while to see if this gets of the ground, if ever.

Paul Filenko has seen the images across the internet of civilian bodies across the streets of his home.

“It’s really really hurtful to see and it needs to get stopped immediately," shares the San Diegan.

Filenko was born in Kyiv, and has relatives and friends still overseas. His loved ones have shared with him some of the atrocities they have seen, “He heard Russian soldiers enter and break down door, screams in that apartment followed by gunshots," he futhers. "They went to the next apartment and he ended up hearing 12 apartments being broken into.”

His mother's friend told him crimes that they have heard, “There have been a lot of reports of rape and a dark trend where the Russian soldiers just shave women’s heads.”

These are examples of what President Biden and the European Union hope will be enough to bring Putin to trial. Experts like Aceves, believe the most likely option is the European Union deciding to bring suit to the ICC.

“The first step is for the investigators to get on the ground and conduct an investigation," he explains. "And if there is sufficient information there to warrant an indictment, then the prosecutor would generate an indictment and present it to the court.”

But gathering information from 2013 to now has it's roadblocks.

“Number one, it’s not safe to go there now to get the information, and you have to find witnesses that are willing to testify," explains Bee. "The best chance of this happening is after the war is over and it’s still an iffy process because you need the defendants in the Hague, the Netherlands. I don’t think Vladimir Putin is going to be there anytime soon.”

Bee believes that the only solution is Ukraine and Russia coming to an agreement on neutrality.

“There’s a track record as to the Russian way of war, which is total war," he says. "Which doesn’t care if civilians or military are in the way, it’s just a way to get to what they want. In this case it’s neutrality for Ukraine and no NATO troops on their border.”

Bee explains that if Putin does go to trial and is considered guilty, he would be faced with life in prison and not the death penalty.