Foreign Minister Heiko Maas today (8 September) issued the following statement on the appointment of Christian Ritscher as Head of UNITAD (United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/ISIL):
I am delighted at the appointment of Christian Ritscher as Head of UNITAD. With his many years of experience as a federal public prosecutor and as an outstanding, internationally recognised expert in the prosecution of crimes against international law, Christian Ritscher is the ideal person to succeed Karim Khan in this position. I am grateful to Secretary-General António Guterres for selecting Mr Ritscher for this important task.
UNITAD uses modern methods to investigate crimes committed by so‑called Islamic State in Iraq. It collects, preserves and stores evidence and makes it available to national criminal proceedings conducted in accordance with due process of law. UNITAD thus promotes the prosecution worldwide of crimes committed by so‑called Islamic State and in doing so is helping to create the foundation for a peaceful future in Iraq.
Christian Ritscher helped to establish the international criminal law division at the Office of the Federal Prosecutor and headed it until very recently. For over ten years he has been prosecuting war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity, including crimes committed by so‑called Islamic State against the Yazidis.