France opens war crime probe into death of Fox News cameraman in Ukraine

AFP , Wednesday 16 Mar 2022

French prosecutors have opened a war crime probe into the death of Franco-Irish Fox News cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski who was shot near Kyiv while covering the war in Ukraine, an official statement said Wednesday.

Fox News cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski
This undated image courtesy of Fox News shows (from L) cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski, US journalist Trey Yingst and Ukrainian journalist Oleksandra Sasha Kuvshynova reporting in Ukraine. - The US network said on March 15, 2022 that Zakrzewski and Kuvshynova had been killed in Ukraine outside Kyiv. Kuvshynova and Zakrzewski were killed and their colleague Benjamin Hall was wounded when their vehicle was struck March 14 by incoming fire in Horenka, outside the capital, Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott said in a statement. AFP

The probe by France's specialized anti-terror prosecutors will investigate possible charges of causing "deliberate harm to a person protected by international law" and a "deliberate attack against a civilian who was not taking part in hostilities."

French prosecutors routinely open cases into the violent deaths of citizens overseas.

Zakrzewski and Ukrainian producer Oleksandra Kuvshynova died and Fox correspondent Benjamin Hall was wounded when their vehicle was struck Monday by incoming fire in Horenka, outside the capital.

Zakrzewski was an experienced war zone cameraman who had previously covered conflicts for the US network in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian sent his condolences on Wednesday, adding that "armed forces have an obligation to protect journalists in accordance with international humanitarian law."

Other media workers have been killed in the three weeks of conflict so far, including US documentary maker Brent Renaud and Ukrainian reporter Evgeny Sakun.

The Ukrainian parliament's human rights chief Lyudmyla Denisova said Tuesday that another Ukrainian journalist, Viktor Dudar, was killed in fighting around the southern port city of Mykolaiv.

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