An important milestone in the Norwegian Helsinki Committee’s work against impunity was reached on Wednesday 13 October 2021, when Iryna Venediktova, the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, announced that one of its key offices will use the digital analytical tool I-DOC (Investigation and Documentation System) developed by the Case Matrix Network in cooperation with the NHC.
– We have used the I-DOC system to develop our Natalia Estemirova Documentation Center, and we have supplied it to civil society organizations working with accountability and truth preservation, such as Truth Hounds in Ukraine, says Secretary General Geir Hønneland. – But this is the first time a state institution has decided to use our system.
The presentation of the project was held with the participation of US Charge d’Affaires Christina Quinn, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway to Ukraine Erik Svedahl, Secretary General of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee Geir Hønneland (online from Oslo) and the Head of the Prosecutor’s Office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol Igor Ponochovny.
– The Russian occupation of Crimea not only violated international law, but has also had grave consequences for the human rights situation on the peninsula. Crimes have been committed against the civilian population, and there has been no redress for victims. This is a challenge not only to Ukraine, but the international community, says Geir Hønneland.
– The I-DOC system will become the fifth digital tool, which the Prosecutor implements in his work. We are currently at the stage of large-scale digital transformation. Implementation of the system will help us to be more effective in dealing with the violations of human rights in Crimea. After a successful pilot in the Prosecutor’s Office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, we will continue implementing it further, says Iryna Venediktova. The I-DOC database is a tool for analyzing and systematizing investigations of war crimes and crimes against humanity for use at the national and international levels.
The program was presented as part of the international technical assistance project “Support to Criminal Justice Sector Reform in Ukraine” supported by the US Embassy in Ukraine. – This project will contribute to Ukraine’s efforts to bring people to justice for serious violations of international law in Donbass and Crimea, says Christina Quinn.
The I-DOC database was developed by Case Matrix Network with the support of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. – Our cooperation in this project once again demonstrates Norway’s strong support of the case of the illegal occupation of Crimea. We are glad that the knowledge of Norwegian experts can be useful in investigating crimes and bringing to justice those responsible of human rights violations, says Eric Svedahl.
The I-DOC system will optimize and simplify the work of investigators and prosecutors in the investigation of crimes related to armed conflict, as well as ensure proper interaction between national institutions and the International Criminal Court.
It provides for the digitization of materials of criminal proceedings for violations of international humanitarian law. It also makes it possible to make more effective use of the evidence gathered during the investigation.
The implementation of the system will make it possible to assess the scale of the violations, the context in which it is committed, as well as the impact on the implementation of the occupation policy of the aggressor state.