7 November 2023 - 11.15-13.00  / Room 11 Palais de l'Europe

Interpretation FR/EN/ua

In Co-operation with Council of Europe’s Division for Cybercrime

Determining the truth and ensuring accountability for war crimes is essential for democracy and lasting peace. Much of the evidence needed to find the truth, attribute crimes and hold offenders accountable is evidence in electronic or digital form on computer systems (“electronic evidence”) or is based on open-source intelligence (OSINT).

The Russian aggression against Ukraine is accompanied by serious violations of human rights and of international law, including war crimes, by both state and non-state actors, and in an environment where disinformation and propaganda spread easily. Important efforts are  underway by Ukrainian authorities and other partners to secure evidence for use in criminal proceedings. These efforts can draw on experience related to the downing of the flight MH17 by a Russia-controlled group over Eastern Ukraine in 2014 that killed almost 300 people and the decision of the European Court of Human Rights on the admissibility of “digital materials” connection with that case. The tools of the Council of Europe’s Budapest Convention on Cybercrime also apply to evidence related to war crimes and can promote co-operation among criminal justice authorities and other stakeholders in the gathering of electronic evidence and intelligence.  What lessons can we draw from Ukraine and other conflicts, such as those in the Balkans or on other continents? How can e-evidence and OSINT help determine the truth and thus to ensure accountability for war crimes and gross violations of human rights? What role for journalists, media and other private sector initiatives in this respect? How can we best counter disinformation around these crimes?

Forum Talk 1: The truth of war crimes – Making Use of Electronic Evidence and Open-Source Intelligence

Full screen: ENFR / ORIGINAL

Palais de l'Europe, room 11 7 November 2023 (11.15-13.00)
  • Diminuer la taille du texte
  • Augmenter la taille du texte
  • Imprimer la page

Interview with Kathryne BOMBERGER, Director-General, International Commission for Missing Persons

Interview with Eliot HIGGINS, Chairman and Creative Director, Bellingcat

SEGER Alexander 2023

Alexander SEGER

Head of the Cybercrime Division and the Executive Secretary of the Cybercrime Convention Committee

Alexander Seger has been with the Council of Europe (Strasbourg, France) since 1999. He is Head of the Cybercrime Division and in that function he is the Executive Secretary of the Cybercrime Convention Committee in Strasbourg as well as Head of the Cybercrime Programme Office of the Council of Europe in Bucharest, Romania (www.coe.int/cybercrime). Prior to this he headed for many years the Economic Crime Division where he was responsible for the Council of Europe’s cooperation programmes against, corruption, organised crime, cybercrime and money laundering. From 1989 to 1998 he was with what now is the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Vienna (Austria), Laos, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and a consultant for German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) in drug control matters. Alexander Seger is from Germany and holds a PhD in political science, law and social anthropology after studies in Heidelberg, Bordeaux and Bonn.

BERNARD Antoine 2023


Director, Advocacy & Assistance, Reporters without Borders

Antoine Bernard is a recognized expert and practitioner of human rights, international justice and NGOs. He is the Director of Advocacy and Assistance of Reporters Without Borders (RSF). Antoine is also co-director of the Master on human rights and humanitarian action at the Sciences Po Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA) where he has been teaching since its launch in 2010. He is the General Secretary of La Maison des Femmes de Saint Denis and board member of the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression. Previously Director General of the International Federation of Human Rights Leagues (FIDH), an associate researcher at the Institut des hautes études sur la justice (IHEJ), also a member of the jury of the Simone Veil Prize of the French Republic for gender equality and of the Steering Committee of the World Movement for Democracy.



Head of the Department for Combating Crimes Committed in Conditions of Armed Conflict of the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office



Director-General, International Commission for Missing Persons

Kathryne Bomberger has worked in the field of international relations, human rights, politics and conflict prevention for the last 20 years.  Since 1998, she has led the development of ICMP, which is today the world’s leading human rights and rule of law organization dedicated exclusively to helping governments address missing persons issues arising from war, human rights violations, migration, organized crime, natural disasters and other causes. She was appointed ICMP Director-General in 2004.



Chairman and Creative Director, Bellingcat

United Kingdom

Eliot Higgins is a renowned British journalist and founder of Bellingcat, an investigative journalism platform that uses open-source intelligence to solve critical international cases. Born in 1979, Higgins' contributions, including MH17 investigation and exposure of Syrian Civil War atrocities, have revolutionized journalism. His work on the Salisbury poisonings won the prestigious 2019 European Press Prize Investigation Award. In 2020, he was also awarded the Machiavelli Prize for his role in enhancing digital investigative journalism. Recognized as a trailblazer, Higgins continues to catalyze transformative changes in how the world understands news, truth, and fact-checking in the digital age.

VASAK Vladimir 2023

Vladimir VASAK

Senior reporter for ARTE


A senior reporter for ARTE news programmes, Vladimir Vasak has produced numerous documentaries around the world. In 2012 he was awarded three prizes for two web documentaries produced for ARTE and France TV at the La Rochelle Web Festival. In 2009 he was also awarded the Louise Weiss Prize for European Journalism for "Journey around the Black Sea". Vladimir Vasak is also a member of the Board of Directors of Cartooning for Peace with the cartoonist Plantu; the President of the Strasbourg-Europe Press Club, which organises and leads debates; a member of the Convention for the Sixth Republic with Mr Arnaud Montebourg and involved in several projects relating to Robert Doisneau.



Youth delegate

United Kingdom

Marc was born in Algeria, travelled irregularly to France and grew up Stateless in the care system, before being adopted by British parents. This lived experience instilled an early awareness of structural inequality- particularly youth participation and representation in democratic processes- which he further developed as the United Kingdom’s youngest international election observer, deploying several times with the OSCE to Ukraine, Moldova, Uzbekistan and North Macedonia. Marc worked for several years in Mediterranean Search & Rescue operations, followed by junior positions in the UN System and Red Cross Movement. As a result of his regular exposure to marginalised communities, Marc developed a deep personal conviction to use his voice to advocate for inclusive, human-rights centred policy and practice.